SANC TUARY, BOSTON
SID LEE ARCHITECTURE / CONCEPTS
Sanctuary is a basement shoe store in Boston,
Massachusetts, that sells a single brand, Adidas, ‘
co-curated’ by its owner Concepts. The 110sqm/1200sq ft
space, as much consumer chapel as sneaker boutique,
has interior and lighting design by Montreal-based
Sid Lee Architecture and comprises ‘modular
thresholds for discovery, pause, and awe’, a ‘liberation
tunnel chamber’, a ‘field of discoveries’ and, the
temple-like ‘space of celebration’.
Steps lead down from street level to greet devotees
with illuminated, raw metal screen doors that project
a celtic, Boston-inspired pattern based on the two
brands’ logos (Concept and Adidas).
A narrowing series of sheet-glass archways, lit along
their edge to create a uniform, glowing effect, take
them further into the boutique where a deliberately
cloister-like passage divides the shop into distinct
spaces for footwear and merchandise, and collections
from the Adidas brand.
Sid Lee’s minimalist interior spotlights the product,
using light, reflective surfaces and glass arches to
create ‘pockets of discovery’ where visual trickery
comes into play. The footwear and apparel on display
appear to float against the raw walls of brick and
concrete, subtly supported by metal fasteners and lit
as if they are in mid-air.
Glass and mirror sculptures present the merchandise
from odd angles, and an interactive, projection-mapping display helps tell the story of featured
products, from new releases to ‘archival’ footwear,
including collaborations with designers such as
Raf Simons, Rick Owens, Stella McCartney and Kolor.
The space also introduces interactive mirror boxes
designed by artist Jordan Söderberg Mills, whose
work more usually appears in locations such as the
V&A in London and the Museo Nacional de Bellas
Artes in Buenos Airies, and who briefly studied
architecture in Chile.
‘If you want to get rich, you start a religion’. Partitions
and edge-lighting emphasise the deliberately temple-like
progression of chambers in the subterranean Sanctuary