A combination of horizontal shelves, vertical fins and hidden LEDs dramatically illuminates the glasses within Bolon Eyewear‘s first flagship store, designed by Ippolito Fleitz Group with Pfarré Lighting Design.

Although Bolon Eyewear is China’s largest manufacturer of eyewear and the third largest sunglasses brand worldwide, their first boutique, in Shanghai, is fairly small, just shy of 100 square meters. Regardless of size, the store design makes a strong impression thanks to an elegant design by Ippolito Fleitz Group (IFG) and lighting design by pfarré lighting design that turns each pair of spectacles into a piece of art.


IFG conceived the idea of small horizontal shelves acting as illuminated panels alternating with vertical fins. Gerd Pfarré, head of Pfarré Lighting Design, developed a backlit display panel for the shelves, but he also thought of incorporating lighting into the fins to illuminate each shelf from above. In the final installation, the horizontals are given 4W LED strips hidden behind the rear panel edge, while the vertical fins have custom 3W LED spots spreading an oval beam over the glasses.


Naturally, the whole store could not be illuminated by these hidden LEDs alone. Yet the rest of the lighting had to serve the dramatic prominence of the display walls. Therefore, adjustable downlights in the ceiling were positioned so they do not cast any shadows onto the shelves; their light is focused on the flooring, which is a combination of white marble and gold-hued carpeting that matches the reflective, gold-toned ceiling.


LEDs with a 4000k color rendition were used throughout the store, but it’s the vertical fins that arguably are the most important. They illuminate the glasses most dramatically yet they were tricky to detail, necessitating months of design and testing with mock-ups. The result is eminently satisfying: a simple design with much hidden complexity.
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