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    Featured Project

    PLAY & CO.

    Play & Co. began as most great projects do: With a minimal budget and no time for design. Fortunately, the project was the beneficiary of two world-class clients. Highly sophisticated West Coast clients with former lives in product branding brought an unusual depth of sophistication and clarity of concept for Play & Co. The business proposal was unique: a trendy waypoint for parents to have a cup of coffee and relax while children have play time in a well-stocked play space.

    At its most basic, the project is an interior re-fit of a suburban retail shell. The shoebox space, sandwiched between a pizza parlor and an interior decorating boutique, left everything to the imagination when designing the space. The client brought a layout and brand-vision to the table, allowing the design team the flexibility to expand the design envelope within a fairly constrained budget. Having determined all functional spaces, the notion of “playhouses” emerged as an organizing theme. Referencing the archetypal house-form, the various play spaces come together to create a “village”. The color palette remains simple, with accent colors highlighting the playhouses against an all-white backdrop. Mechanical and electrical fixtures are left exposed and painted to blend into the background. The plan layout also takes advantage of the sole source of natural light, with a central corridor and half-walls telescoping into the furthest recesses of the footprint. 

    This project was educational for the design team. Exploring the potential impact of small, concise gestures in a highly restrictive budget envelope generated smart, iconic outcomes that help shape and reinforce the brand image for Play & Co. A short, two-week design window eliminated second-guessing and overwrought solutions. As always, inspired clients to make a project a success from start to finish.

    “The jury was deeply impressed with the designers of Play & Co’s attention to scale, detail, economic solutions and use of color in a bold, but not patronizing way.  Children are taken seriously in this space and serve to benefit from its intelligent attention to design.”

    - Paul Schulhof, Partner 

    Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners LLP