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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Design Services Group (DSG) a subsidiary of Supervalu here, claimed victory in the 2006 National Association of Store Fixture Manufacturers (NASFM) Retail Design Award competition.
DSG was awarded the 2006 Retail Design Award for the grocery store category with its entry for Highland Park Market's sixth store -- a ground-up, 22,000-square-foot project set in a new lifestyle center in South Windsor, Conn. DSG took a whimsical approach to classic New England design, including a copper barrel-vaulted entrance to rival a five-star hotel lobby. Skylights, chandeliers, a sculpted waterfall and unique wall tiles build drama for this upscale grocery, while robotic wildlife display components and jungle sounds in the produce section entertain Highland Park's shoppers.
The Manchester, Conn.-based growing grocery chain operates six stores in central Connecticut. Highland Park has been in continuous operation for more than 100 years. Originally owned by William White, Highland Park Market was purchased in 1957 by John Devanney and incorporated in 1960. All six of John's children helped out at the Market. In 1993, Tim Devanney assumed control of the corporation, building three stores to bring the store count up to its present six.
"When Tim Devanney, Highland Park Market's owner, asked us to design his newest store, he told us he was looking for something really special -- the 'Mona Lisa' of grocery stores," said Harry Steen, DSG's creative director. "And that's just what we gave him." In a nod to the store's charming end result, Steen said the store has been referred to as 'The Mona Lisa' ever since.
Calling the store's layout a truly collaborative effort, Steen said Alfonso Correa, DSG's senior store planner, designed the store with "department theaters," featuring a different vignette for each department. "With the chefs as actors, the vignettes are truly like renaissance stage sets," Steen said.
Putting his best effort into the new store, DSG's lighting designer, Terry Bright, sought to give the store a "painterly quality" that would showcase the merchandise as an artist would showcase the fruit in a still life. "The white-outfitted chefs are working against a warm glow that suffuses the store with light," said Steen.
Likewise, the architecture and engineering for The Highland Park Market are unique. Bryan Slattery, DSG's client team leader, designed the façade, which features a contemporary take on the classic arts and crafts motif. Slattery developed several concepts for the exterior, ultimately settling on the dramatic standing-seam copper barrel-vaulted entrance.
"We were looking for an exterior with real 'curb appeal,' that would project the richness of the store's interior, and yet still fall within the owner's budget," said Slattery. To achieve that end result, the stone and stucco façade are rich in appearance and cost conscious, while the real standing seam copper roof and accents are beautiful, durable elements that will add to the drama of the store as they patina over time.
The equipment package also adds to the store's voluptuous feel, according to the designers. "Tim (Devanney) wanted a space with a sense of community, where his shoppers could linger," said Slattery. To that end, DSG specified many custom Barker merchandisers to draw the eye to the main attraction: the merchandise.
DSG's services include architecture and engineering (mechanical, electrical, civil and structural), interior and brand design, store planning, project management, and equipment services, focused entirely on supermarkets.