Price Cutter Plus Springfield, Mo.
Byline: Meg Major
With its unique design elements and building materials such as dyed and polished concrete floors, tumbled-slate stacked stonework, custom graphic murals in several departments, and circular tiered wood-ceiling elements in the floral department, the 53,000-square-foot Price Cutter on Nolting Ave. in Springfield, Mo., boasts an innovative, award-winning store design by RPCS Inc./Ramey's.
One of several entries in PG's Store Design Contest this year from Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc. (AWG)/Design and D'cor Source Group, the Price Cutter Plus store design project had the central objective of creating a clean, contemporary supermarket to provide an exciting and inviting space that reflects the natural beauty of the surrounding community by incorporating familiar natural materials such as wood, stone and metal into the design elements. Based on the accompanying photos, this objective was brilliantly achieved.
Highlighted by colorful, high-quality tiles in the service deli, bakery and meat departments, the attractive, functional concept store also features curved soffit and custom woodwork in the meat department, along with ample use of track and accent lighting throughout to enhance the overall shopping experience.
At the outset of the project, several challenges were readily identified. Approaching the project design of an oversized box of a building, the store design team faced the primary challenge of determining how to departmentalize the different store departments to help make each one a unique destination of its own. The team aimed to create "vignettes" of each department, a key element of which involved creative placement of the interior walls and tailoring floor space to achieve the specific vision.
Ample use of color also played a leading role in giving each department its own unique ambiance, as did the selection of the light fixtures, the foot-candle contrast in each department, and the sleek use of graduated ceiling planes in several of the departments.
Another challenge the design team successfully tackled was the floor plan, which created a relatively narrow walkway between the deli and organic area. Task lighting was added above the service cases, but a drywall soffit would have visually closed off the space. An astute solution was devised in the form of a custom-designed, narrow structural band placed above the deli that allows for well-placed accent lighting without overwhelming the area with an overhead soffit.
In addition to its innovative and attractive interior, the store also has a number of sustainable features, including a system that reclaims heat from refrigeration units to warm the building.