REINVENT THE CONVENIENCE STORE - This challenge became the impetus to explore how a new micro supermarket concept might manifest on a heavily-trafficked suburban corner. AIR GUITAR seeks to combine the convenience store amenities with high-quality coffee, sushi and pizza, to create a unique high end experience that revolutionizes the convenience store paradigm. Inspired by the convenience stores of Italy along the autostrada, this new typology serves a broad range of needs under one large shaded roof.
To accomplish the clients’ vision, debartolo architects started by visualizing the site populated with native desert vegetation, and then carved out space for a pavilion more than a store. The debartolo team situated critical site elements behind the building in order to reduce their visual impact and increase the presence of the building on the street corner. The site was shaped and planted to retain rainwater for the vegetation instead of storing it underground.
Responding to the need for shade in the desert, the architects created a large roof structure of perforated metal cladding that extends far beyond the interior conditioned space. This allows for a welcoming outdoor environment that encourages people to linger. Beneath this pavilion-roof, service 'saddle bags' flank the public zone and protect the interior from the harsh west and east solar orientation. The solid east and west volumes contrast with the transparent floor to ceiling glass opening the heart of the building to the public space north and south of the building.
The perforated metal cladding of the pavilion roof continues into the interior space where it becomes a means of attenuating acoustics. Full-height glass and the continuous clerestory windows create a light-filled interior space, and low merchandise-shelving enhances this 'open' experience. Polished concrete, raw steel, and solid surface counters provide a visually quiet backdrop to the life of the retail space that is animated with products and color.
On the exterior, various width and values of standing seam metal cladding responds to the clients’ vision of a sustainable building that requires minimal maintenance. The inspired standing seam pattern brings a pedestrian scale to the exterior facade and intentional design makes all sides of this innovative convenience store of the future a flagship for a completely new brand and experience.