NEW! project completed in Minneapolis

Sometimes our name, Alchemy, resonates perfectly with a project we do. This recent completed project explains that. Geoffrey Warner and Alchemy sought to evoke a celebration of optics, transparency and “seeing differently” as impetuses behind the optical shop façade treatment. A crystalline envelope of 5/8” thick greenhouse polycarbonate grows out of the storefront openings. The skin is manipulated to form offset and distorted frames around the existing windows to bring together ideas of frame and optics. The polycarbonate is all self-supporting.

Design work was undertaken using 3-d computer modeling then flattened, allowing for efficient model and physical production with a CNC router. Instead of working drawings, a perfect scale model of the skin was used as a 3-d guide to installation, with all pieces numbered in small and full scales. Custom translucent urethane straps were cut to provide a continuous “stitched” seam at the edges. The aluminum sign boxes were laser-cut and welded to contain the store identity. Very low-energy LED lights color-phase in and out to illuminate the façade.

Enjoy the view!

Design and Fabrication: Alchemy Architects - Geoffrey Warner, Scott Ervin, Khanh Nguyen, Blake Lloya
Graphic Design + Identity: Werner Designwerks
Lighting Design: Jim Marvy
Panel Fabrication: Atomic Sheetmetal
Signage Lettering: Archetype Signs
Installation: K-A Construction and Alchemy
SPECS Optical is owned by John Oliva and Nancy Krant, and is located at 2204 Hennepin Ave. in Minneapolis (just off of Franklin and Hennepin, near the Uptown neighborhood)

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