Interiors, Experiential Media
MOEN—a traditionally blue collar, high performance brand in plumbing fixtures; had been working to expand its product line and its audience. Their recent pivot aimed to transition their line to a younger crowd by launching technologically advanced products that would appeal to Millennials. In order to elevate the brand and strengthen its position among other elite products, Fortune Brands Global Plumbing Group, sought a showroom that would establish a dynamic presence in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart.
Early on in the process, Valerio Dewalt Train and Media Objectives worked together with Fortune Brand’s leadership on a discovery phase that would allow them to identify brand attributes and conceptualize design aspirations. The outcome, is a showroom based on an inspirational story focused on the beauty of water and on technological innovation. It is an experience grounded in the enduring, innovative and technically astute aspects of the products, while simultaneously featuring the art and science behind the brand. These conceptual aspects were further embedded into the design through a partnership with Next/Now, who developed a digital experience that would fuse seamlessly with the architecture.
Perpendicular to theMart’s northern entrance, now sits a tall white storefront marked with glowing aluminum signage that reads MOEN in its branded blue hue. It’s sliding 11.5ft glass panels are marked graphic linework, thin and translucent, to reveal the large open space behind it even during the showroom’s off hours. The theMart’s heavy concrete beams are left exposed and embellished with digital abstractions of water that create a calming, ambient, glow that grabs the attention of the public from the corridor as well as from the street. As visitors enter, sensor-activated projections react with soft ripples, that subtly intensify with increased foot traffic.
To further encourage visitor interaction, the fixtures are functional and are organized in ‘boomerang-shaped’ troughs that are spaced apart for a natural flow throughout the showroom. Akin to the concept of water, the millwork is curved and backlit with blue LED’s that match the projections and contrast the otherwise universally white palette. Lining the lateral wall are tall and semi-closed displays for working shower heads, leaving all other fixtures at waist height to provide open and unobstructed views from the exterior.
MOEN was built beside the House of Rohl, another Fortune Brands showroom. The spaces were designed separately, but share a concealed back of house, meant to provide a centralized location for their representatives to host Board meetings and to work remotely. Within public view, a single pivot door embedded in a shared wall is the only hint of connection between the two brands.