The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) has awarded Montreal’s Ruscio Studio with a Maple Leaf Gold Award in the area of Retail Store Design at the annual Canadian Shopping Centre Awards competition – for Ruscio’s design of the Underground store in Calgary. The winners were announced on October 6 at an awards ceremony during ICSC’s Canadian convention in Toronto.
The 2010 Canadian Shopping Centre Awards are designed to recognize outstanding achievement in marketing, design and development of retail properties and retail store design; it was open to shopping centre owners, developers, management companies, architects and designers and retailers.
The Underground is located in Calgary’s Chinook Centre. The store was leasing two adjacent spaces in the centre (the first store exclusively for women; the second exclusively for men) when a decision was made to unify the spaces and revitalize Underground’s image. Since its name suggested that the products carried were not mainstream offerings but rather alternative designer labels, the design concept took an anti-mainstream approach reflecting more of a hip “underground” world and its urban inspirations. This was created by including raw metal finish on solid steel sheets; tunnel like walls with white ceramic tiles as found in subway stations; concrete floor finishes; street posters pasted on surfaces similar to city hoardings’; bright orange finishes similar to the “safety orange” lines found in subways or sidewalks; and oversized posters that appeared like advertising billboards. Overall, the concept has been well received by shoppers and mall owners alike, with the design being applied to other Underground stores across Western Canada.
Professional recognition was given to Underground Clothing, as well as designer Ruscio Studio Inc. and general contractor Persimmon Contracting Limited.
Ruscio Studio also received a Maple Leaf Silver Award in the area of Retail Store Design for its design of the International Currency Exchange (I.C.E) Kiosk in Place Rosemère, Rosemère, Quebec.