Contemporary Food Market in the Philippines Receives Design Award

The Landmark by Hugh Boyd Architect

The Landmark Designed By Hugh A. Boyd Architect

A Southeast Asia department store food market designed by Montclair, N.J.-based Hugh A. Boyd Architect has won a Merit Award in the “Interior Architecture” category from AIA-NJ.

The award for the 93,000 square-foot food market and eatery in Manila, Republic of the Philippines, was announced this past September at AIA-NJ’s annual “Design Day” conference at Bally’s Atlantic City in Atlantic City, N.J. The design award was presented at the annual AIA-NJ awards dinner to be held in January 2011 in Princeton, N.J.

“We are excited to see projects being created at this high level of innovation and quality by New Jersey firms,” said Jason Kliwinski, AIA, LEED AP, 2010 president of AIA-NJ. “I am honored to recognize these architects for their dedication and commitment to their craft and to the architecture community.”

Hugh A. Boyd, FAIA, principal and sole architect of the firm, had never been to Asia when Elizabeth Cheng, CEO of Philippines-based Landmark Department Stores, asked him to design their colossal-sized, basement-level grocery store. Cheng approached Boyd after having seen his design for the Grand Central Market in Grand Central Terminal in New York City in a book.

“I had no idea of the scale of the project,” said Boyd. “The square footage was so much larger than what we had ever done in the States.”

Boyd, a Massachusetts native, became a preservation architect in New England upon returning from a yearlong university study program in Rome, Italy. He moved to New Jersey to accept a position creating shops inside the historic buildings of New York City’s South Street Seaport and by the end of the project had decided to specialize in food retail and restaurant design.

Before planning started, Landmark sent Boyd to Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China, and Bangkok, Thailand, to get inspiration and to study the product, quality and style of work that is typical of these types of grocery stores.

“It is typical in Asia for department stores similar to our Macy’s or Nordstrom to have a supermarket or grocery hall,” explained Boyd. “The supermarkets there are upscale, gourmet and intimate. They spend a greater amount of money and focus more on the design and look than we do in America.”

Boyd started designing the food market in the summer of 2008, traveling to the Philippines every three months for a week at a time to oversee the design, development and construction and working with the engineers on every detail and code regulation. The market, which opened earlier this year, is roughly the size of an American-style Walmart.

The biggest challenge was the imagination needed to create a space that would transform the cavernous, windowless basement located below the five-story Landmark department store into a pleasant shopping environment, Boyd said. Structural columns and 11-foot ceilings, considered oppressive compared to the 20-foot ceilings of most supermarkets, were additional challenges.

Boyd used layers of glass and tile, vertical shapes and hidden perimeter lighting to create the illusion of windows. The ceiling is made up of two layers to create false ceiling height, a visual trick whereby the actual ceiling was painted black and a layer of rounded, three-dimensional white cut-outs is floated just under it, creating the impression that ceiling is higher than it is.

To highlight the food, improve traffic flow and make the shopping experience entertaining, he used wrap-around aisles, floating kiosks, slick surfaces and concrete walls to break up the space. Theatrical spotlights highlight the food, as well as cut down on energy consumption in a country that has some of the world’s highest electricity rates. For color and graphic pop, Boyd used paintings with a tropical motif and sea-inspired jewel-tones.

AIA-NJ announced a total of 11 design awards at the gala, to see the other award winners goto www.aia-nj.org

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