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Making waves
Sound design at Bose is part of a unique shopping experience

At Bose, theyre known for sound ideas that challenge the status quo. So, when the world-renowned manufacturer and marketer of consumer electronics wanted to create an inspirational space at their new store in Houston, Texas, designers felt free to orchestrate innovative concepts for showcasing the companys products. The result is an entertaining retail space with a design theme that plays on Boses famous Waveguide technology. ArmstrongTM provided the flooring solution with PERSPECTIVES and NATURAL OPTIONS. The resilient flooring delivers superior performance and pleasing aesthetics, not unlike the Bose products themselves! When customers walk off the street and into the new Bose store, located in a premier fashion retail shopping center, they enter a unique shopping environment. The space is divided into multiple themed areas, each dedicated to a specific product grouping. The front window space features popular and promotional products. The first venue showcases current technology products. Home audio and audio video systems are featured in other areas. Finally, the theater is devoted to a sophisticated home entertainment
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system. The interior design challenge for Ali Van Horn of Ali B Designs was, in her words, three-fold. She says, First, we wanted to have non-geometric, freeform patterns and spaces that defined the venue areas. Second, we wanted finishes that combined the richness and warmth of home comfort, but that also communicated a contemporary, leading-edge technology feeling. And, third, for the front and theater entries, we wanted to draw attention to those spaces with unique design, but use finishes that wouldnt dominate or compete with the store. Bose project manager Bill DeVries adds, We asked Ali to design a floor pattern that would help create focal points and interest. Within that context, the flooring had to fit within our budget, and be easy to maintain. Van Horns design uses undulating sound waves, evocative of Boses milestone Wave System acoustic technology. The patterns appear in the stores graphics, which in turn influence the floor configuration. She says, We selected Armstrong vinyl flooring because of a combination of qualities, not the least of which is the ability for intricate patterns to be pre-cut and installed easily. Other vinyl floor attributes that appeal to the designer and to Bose include the range of visuals and colors, maintainability and cost. Van Horn explains, We chose PERSPECTIVES for its interesting visual. It has a natural feel without trying to replicate the actual, real material. It also provides a neat, techno-difference. NATURAL OPTIONS Wood gives us a warm, rich, home-like feeling with easy maintenance. DeVries adds, The Armstrong flooring is able to tie to the general theme of acoustic waves in our architectural and graphics elements with colors that reinforce our existing palette. Three colors in PERSPECTIVES 24 by 24 tile: Antiqued Metal, Oxidized Red and Painted Bronze; and one color in NATURAL OPTIONS Wood 36 by 3 plank: Medium Maple; were custom cut by
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WaterJet Works in Dallas. The precision cut curves and shapes simplified installation in the puzzle-like flooring configuration. Asked how this installation compared to other stores, DeVries comments, We were able to tweak the pattern easily, which we needed to do to accommodate the different departments. The basic design can be adapted on an individual basis, so we can recreate this concept in other stores on a custom basis. Since opening in July 2004, the store dcor has attracted a lot of interest from neighboring retailers and consumers. DeVries and Van

Horn confirm, We have had a lot of comments about the floor. People want to know what it is and how they can get it. Van Horns company has been providing design support and expertise to Bose and other retailers for years, and this is one of many positive experiences theyve had with ArmstrongTM flooring. Van Horn concludes, This project was a lot of fun. Its nice to be able to use a product creatively, and Armstrong vinyl flooring allows us to do that.

Quick Facts

The Bose Challenge: Inspirational design that fits with the stores philosophy, products and budget Design a space that integrates different focal points and areas Select finishes that work with the companys graphics The Armstrong Solution: PERSPECTIVES and NATURAL OPTIONS have unique visuals that work with Boses graphics and color standards Products can be used together to create design and color-coordinated spaces Custom-cut pieces support the stores design theme, graphics and install easily Product Specs: PERSPECTIVES features abstract visuals in sheet and tile forms that are easy to install and are dimensionally stable NATURAL OPTIONS is reminiscent of natural wood with the cost and performance benefits of vinyl flooring Products are constructed and designed especially for retail spaces