Four weeks before AOL’s 25th Anniversary Party, DBI was hired to re-design the AOL Company Store or “C” Store at the AOL Dulles, Virginia facility. The goal was to transform their small store that sold snacks and greeting cards into a ‘boutique’ store that could display some of AOL’s branded merchandise for their employees. The new store was to have a cutting-edge, contemporary look that would reflect AOL’s new brand image campaign. The challenge for DBI was the time frame – it had to be designed and completed before the Anniversary Party!
DBI set up working meetings with the Client, Engineers, Product Representatives, and General Contractor along with the GC’s lighting and millwork sub-consultants. All meetings were held at the site, with sketchpads in hand. Due to the tight time constraints, all the materials to construct the space had to be readily available or quick ship.
Besides the tight timeframe, the other criteria for DBI’s design was to incorporate some of the colorful, fun images from AOL’s newly released, extensive collection of logos. These became the inspiration for the design of the space. DBI found the perfect product, which was an LED-illuminated “Matrix Frame” which allows the images to be replaced as new designs are debuted. This frame was integrated into a wall of display cubes, which made for a spectacular feature wall.
To create a minimal yet elegant space, DBI selected a palette of crisp white finishes to be the backdrop to the bold, colorful AOL images and product merchandise. All of the display furniture was custom designed by DBI and constructed by a local millwork shop. The millwork included white lacquer display tables, display cubes, backlit floating box-frames and mirror, and a cashier counter with an attached computer kiosk for placing orders.
In order to make more of a presence for the store, DBI extended the storefront out 4’ with floor-to-ceiling, butt-glazed glass panels that allow a clear view into the entire store. The dramatic storefront displays translucent acrylic pedestals illuminated with LED uplights, which continually change revealing some of AOL’s new logo colors.
Photos © Eric Taylor