From the sidewalk, Montreal’s new Uvée optometry clinic meets the eye with an energetic and light-filled interior. Accented with wood cabinets, notes of green and comfortable seating, the space by local firm Catherine Catherine carefully integrates retail with clinical uses: Uvée’s otherwise open interior “frames” a room-within-a-room eye exam enclosure.
But first, the retail area: It highlights the frames for sale on shelves featuring mirrors. On one side of the space, inset wooden units are built into the wall; on the opposite, they are hung like picture frames. In the minimally decorated shop, the oak shelving is a subtle focal point, inviting visitors to approach the glasses on display.
The retail area is organized around a small examination room. A more private space – albeit with floor-to-ceiling windows that look out to the street – the clinical room sits at the heart of Uvée. Painted in warm earthy-green tones, the exam room’s outer walls complement their off-white surroundings with a more energetic presence.
Along one green wall, plush café-style bench seating creates an elegant waiting area and a place to check out and compare new frames. Like many of the furnishings that fill out the spare clinic, the bench is custom made.
At the back of the shop, a simple ceramic counter (used as a prep area for vision tests) bookends the space. Fully clad in square tiles – which are also used on a column at the heart of the space – the counter evokes a kitchen island. Like the bench seats, it’s a small touch that translates the clinical ambiance into a slightly more relaxed setting.
Catherine Catherine’s design has created a simple and unshowy space, but one that’s distinguished by warm and subtly playful touches. With a few simple design motifs, the well-resolved and functional clinic becomes a comfortable – and fun – place to find a new pair of frames.
Photography by Raphaël Thibodeau.
Designed by Catherine Catherine, Uvée pairs clinical space with an inviting and comfortable storefront.