ARIDO Awards: Toronto’s Penguin Shop wins top prize

Over 800 design industry professionals were united in celebration at the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO) awards on October 5th as figure3 scooped the night’s top honours. The firm walked away with the Project of the Year Award for their work on Penguin Shop as well as an Award of Merit for their work on Aviva’s Digital Garage. Penguin Shop was also recognized with an Award of Excellence.Penguin Shop, figure3, ARIDO Awards

“I’m incredibly proud of tonight’s achievement,” said managing partner of figure3 Allan Guinan. “I believe that our work for Penguin Shop represents the future of retail. It’s a store that’s viscerally compelling, engaging and with the capacity to be constantly evolving. Bricks and mortar retail has profoundly changed and this tiny 158 sq ft store is evidence that when strategic design research is paired with brilliant creative, the results can be truly outsized.”

Briefed to create an Instagram-friendly store that reads as a departure from the traditional bookshop, figure3’s creative concept sought to foster a sense of discovery, wonder and delight. Inspired by the Penguin brand’s ‘super-fan’ and the personal bookshelf they take such pride in, the concept brings the Penguin brand to life in a delightful, yet functional way.

Eschewing the notion that the store should simply be a place to sell product, the firm turned the constraints of the miniature footprint into the shop’s biggest advantage. The majority of books and Penguin branded items are hidden inside custom-made pantry-style pull out millwork that is dressed to look like an oversized bookshelf.

Launched in the summer of 2016, Penguin shop has garnered international headlines and accolades.