Monday, 1 April 2013

map gift shop 20th anniversary refurb - The Little Shop with Big Ideas

Ok -  so we have hinted about some big plans for next week and many of you already have an idea about our not so secret we thought we'd give you some more details and also a few visuals about the big 20th anniversary refurb and share some of the historic references that led to our design scheme and new look for the next 20 years!

Streetscene of us and our neighbours from 1904
image provided by Lyndon Goode

Ernest Milner’s historical survey photographs from 1904
Showing the curved corner shop front of no. 93

We were delighted that our application to upgrade our key corner position on Junction Road, within the St. John’s Grove conservation area was successful and a grant towards the cost of our scheme has been awarded.  Working with local architects Lyndon Goode we set about designing a new frontage which through sensitive design would enhance the individuality and character of the building, as well as providing improved access.  Relocating the entrance from the existing location at the corner to the side elevation (on St John's Grove) will provide an effectively level access for our disabled customers and those with pushchairs and prams, as well as creating the opportunity for a more coherent elevation to Junction Road.

Visual by Lyndon Goode Architects

The proportion of the new shopfront, as well as materials and details used in its execution, have been considered in relation to the immediate context of the building and streetscene as a whole. Design elements have been inspired by historical reference to earlier uses, including the use as a butcher’s shop. A key feature of the new shopfront will be the use of a ‘showcase’ to the corner of the elevation, with reference to the curved masonry detailing above. 

Another feature makes reference to the butcher’s hooks that were present on the elevation, with the placement of a row of alternate bulbs and hooks fitted to the fascia. This will provide a sense of fun and originality that echoes the ethos of the shop, as well as reference to the building’s history.

Last and not least is our new signage with  rebranded map gift shop name - which with it's bold circus style lighting and distinct vintage feel reflects our personality, sense of fun, style and originality as Archway's leading gift shop for now and decades to come.

Inspiration for new signage

Historical reference points - 

The opening of the Junction Road railway station on the Tottenham and Hampstead Railway in 1872 on the corner of Junction Rd and Station Rd, and the creation of the tramway transformed the fortunes of the area which became a bustling shopping centre.

The beautiful restoration of properties such as the St. John’s Tavern and Bread and Bean have begun to recapture Junction Road in the glory for which it was originally intended. 
St John's Tavern no.91
Bread & Bean no.37 Junction Road

But the fabulous original Victorian features are juxtaposed with the more controversial modernist architecture of Archway tube station and Archway tower. There have been
petitions to demolish the concrete block, and even a recent art project comprising of the
opportunity to look at the vista with the tower digitally removed from view! 

How to make Archway Tower Disappear by Ruth Ewan
image provided by Lyndon Goode

Yet the desire to erase such a now distinctive feature of Junction Road arguably seems to go against embracing its rich history, and constant fluctuation in the landscape and fortunes of the locale, at map gift shop we hope for a more productive use of Archway Tower sometime soon - please!

We look forward to showing progress reports of our brand new shop front next week, we will be closed for at least 2 weeks (sorry not to be more specific at this point), but we are using the time to decorate and refurbish our interior too.  Thank you for your continued support and patience.

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