Ozone Store Tops Property Awards
The Ozone Wireless Retail Experience Store at Manor Lodge Complex, Barbados has been added to a list of properties of distinction. Architectural and Design company, Argo Development Studio copped awards for Best Retail Development, Barbados and Caribbean, for the store entry at the International Property Awards in late 2017. Argo was awarded the contract to design the corporate offices and retail store of the new 4G LTE telecommunications provider in 2016. The store was officially opened at Ozone’s launch in July 2017.
Argo started with a mere shell in an existing building which was built in the 90s. It was the former home of the now relocated Exclusive Lighting, electrical and lighting fixtures store, near the busy Warrens commercial area. The vision was to transform the space into an experience that could be placed in retail capitals anywhere in the world, yet have a grounded sense of place in its home Barbados.
Using digital modelling in the pre-construction phase and harnessing the right manpower, allowed Argo to realise the ambitious Ozone retail vision on a modest budget. Intelligent 3D digital modelling yielded efficiencies that maximized both time and money over the life of the project. Managing Director of Argo, David Campion notes, “I’m very proud to say that 95% of the elements of this award-winning project were conceptualized, designed, developed and manufactured in Barbados, thanks to the talented teams of Argo, Ozone, Versatile Construction, and a host of local subcontractors, suppliers and artisans.” He adds, “The experience store’s award is a timely reminder that the construction industry in Barbados is very talented and can respond to deliver ambitious design.”
On entering the store, one is immediately struck by the consciously minimalist space. Yet while moving through the space, the precision and detail become more apparent. Floor and ceiling lighting mirror and play on each other, high quality finishes and fixtures stand out against the mostly subdued neutral tones, and a sea of digital screens sit against a wall of Ozone orange. Considering Ozone was a new entrant in a market with two major incumbents, the design brief was not only about style, but about a fiercely detailed approach to a new in-store customer experience creating a competitive edge. Campion says this was one of the most exciting things about the project and shared more about the approach:
“We focused on clean lines, neutral tones with punches of brand accent colours through back lit glass, graphics and furniture with simplistic textures. Merchandise is displayed in a less crowded manner within the monolithic illuminated acrylic display units. We introduced a consult room where customers could have a private one on one whilst still feeling part of the experience store… A casual seating and lounge space was introduced in the form of a coffee lounge to make customers feel more welcome and comfortable… The contemporary design was infused with the rich heritage and culture of Barbados through the procurement of local art and sculpture that adorn the walls and joinery units in the store.”
Ozone’s General Manager, Mark Conway expressed his delight at the awards, congratulating the Argo team saying, “Barbados now has a fantastic retail store which is continually being enjoyed by our new customers to the LTE network.” In fact, the store has already shown its versatility in moving from entertainment space to pseudo-TV studio, to art gallery, to party venue, in the months since its opening. By all reports it is certainly living up to its name as an Experience Store. It serves as a perfect template for other stores in a local and regional rollout.
Main blog photo:
Managing Director, Argo development Studio, David Campion (centre) displays the International Property Award. Also pictured (left to right): Patricia Boyce (Everson R. Elcock); Khaiyaam Bubulia (Sign Station); Kurt Sylvester (In-Counter Inc.); Kailash Pardasani (Promotech Inc.); Theo Graham (Ozone Wireless); Missing: Radesh Singh (Versatile Construction)