Local interior designer Thatenhorst conceived the shop as a “noisy, wild and unique paradise for children”, with all seating and product displays adjusted for their height.
“When you enter the room, you enter unfamiliar terrain,” she explained.
“The blue carpet signals that you are entering a new world. Every little detail is child-friendly without using the usual cliches.”
Full of intriguing textures and bright colours, Rookies’ walls and ceilings are wrapped in green and white triangular tiles and glasses are sparsely presented on apricot-coloured shelves.
A ribbed yellow column with a bench seat at its base stretches from the ceiling to the floor, while a series of U-shaped neon lights, designed to recall monkey swings in a zoo, illuminate the space.
Fabric-wrapped drawers with contrasting blue handles provide storage space for stock, while a series of round and oval mirrors with blue frames are set in between each wall display.
“Everything is round, there are no corners to bump into,” said Thatenhorst. “Even the showcases with the glasses are round and shaped for children’s hands to open.”
The eyewear-dispensing machine, which is set into the wall and allows children to pick up their new glasses, is a highlight of the interior. It is framed by red-checkered fabric that coordinates with the upholstery of the surrounding stools and benches.
“It is always an experience for the little glasses wearers when the machine comes to life and ‘spits out’ the new glasses,” the designer explained. “Who would want to go home again?”
Among the other projects nominated in the category is Flamingo Estate’s Harvest Shop, which is anchored by a rammed-earth counter excavated from the brand’s own garden.
Photography is by Günther Egger.