Hip Housewares Store is a Dish

Aug. 1, 2007

Toronto, ON - Hip housewares designer and manufacturer Umbra recently opened their first-ever concept store. The 7,000-square-foot, two-level interior was designed by award-winning design firm figure3. The concept store required a complete overhaul of an industrial space in the heart of downtown Toronto. And the result is a retail space that illustrates the creative, edgy nature of Umbra, while reinforcing Umbra's brand message of dedication to good design at affordable prices.

To create a memorable shopping experience and to heighten visual impact within the two-story space, figure3 transformed items from Umbra's own product line into large-scale sculptural forms. This unique approach curtailed project costs, yet gave the space a high-end sensibility. 

Umbra's dynamic, gallery-like environment now hosts product launches and community events as well as its ever-changing line of products, in order to succeed the space had to be flexible. In another tip of the hat to Umbra's brand message, figure3 met the challenge with an array of adaptable store fixtures that speak to the importance of good design.

Design highlights of the Umbra concept store include:

  • a dramatic floating staircase.
  • extensive graphic installations highlighting Umbra designers.
  • large video monitors featuring Umbra's product designers.
  • individual work pods showcasing on-site designers at work.
  • an over-scaled, retro-styled "chandelier" installation created from a collection of ordinary and inexpensive Umbra table lamps.

As a leader of retail space design, figure3 has worked with Umbra twice before: designing Umbra's award winning headquarters and the Umbra destination store in Selfridges, UK. "Working with Umbra has proved to be the perfect partnership for figure3. We share the same innovative, design ideals and approach to space. The Umbra concept store is bold, interactive and most importantly it will give customers an unparalleled shopping experience," comments Christopher Wright, figure3 Design Partner.


As designers of form, space and experiences, figure3 creates branded environments and products that go beyond conventional thinking. Achieving clients' business and brand objectives through exceptional workplace, retail and hospitality environments. Clients include, IBM, British Airways, Porter Airlines, Umbra, Roche Bobois, Warner Brothers, and many others. 

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