2012 Melbourne Design Awards

Key Dates

Fitzgerald Optometrist [DRAFT]



Project Overview

A new premises space for an existing optometrist in Williamstown presented both challenges and opportunities given the shape of the site; large height with a narrow width. The space was designed to fit in with the demographic, with a major focus on creating a different retail experience than that of the standard uninspiring optometrist.

Project Commissioner

Fitzgerald Optometrist

Project Creator

Two Design


Joey Corso, Two Design - Designer
Shop Fitter - Select Shopfitting

Project Brief

The client needed to create a new space to give an image that would stick, they didn't want to be just another optometrist, they wanted something stylish & new, yet needed to tie in with the context of the site & surrounding area which catered for all age types.

The project focused on natural light & the height of the space onto the street. Looking in from outside it was intended that the space look like an elegant retail environment, maximizing the existing height of the shop front to create interest, drawing people in.

Project Need

Optometrists often look outdated and uninteresting; they serve a purpose but don’t satisfy any kind of retail experience. For both the client and Two Design it was all about creating an impression on customers, to offer something different.

By developing the space into more than just rows of glasses, the design team settled on three huge, free standing mirrors, situated high against a patterned wall. The opposite wall is a deep claret against which a single white panel stretches horizontally providing a backdrop for the more traditional spectacle display. The central ottoman upon entry guides traffic either side to the frame display & large mirrors to reinforce the retail space. Located centrally to the rear is the reception desk with full height timber which captures eyes upon the entry. The striking feature is the flooring which has been laid to reinstate the spaces shape guiding patrons to the rear hallway where there is a work shop, 2 consulting rooms & the staff area. The right hand side of the hallway occupies 4 optometrist apparatus on full display with full height curtain drawn when in use.The final result is a completely new atmosphere and concept, while still recognizably an optometrist.

Design Challenge

The primary design challenge was the aggressive budget of just $150,000 for a 128sm space and developing an inviting retail space with such a narrow site, which was future proof, without turning existing older customers away.

By incorporating a vertical pattern flooring and large framed mirrors this both created an appealing entrance and gave a greater depth to the optometrist.

The attractive flooring has had many compliments since the optometrist opened and Two Design have been contacted on a number of occasions by designers inquiring where the flooring is from.


Two Design always consider locally sourced materials, hard wearing surfaces and long lasting products that require minimal maintenance. The Bolon feature floor meets the eco specifier global rating whilst central tile strip is hard wearing and long lasting. The rear feature timber wall was built using pre laminated timber flooring thus has a small amount of natural timber of which comes from a renewable source / species.

The shop front glazing was maximized to allow the space to be flooded with greater natural light and reduce the overall lighting load. Existing lighting was refurbished and reused from the existing clients store which is preferable in this modern world of throw away fixtures.

This award recognises building interiors, with consideration given to space creation and planning, furnishings, finishes and aesthetic presentation. Consideration given to space allocation, traffic flow, building services, lighting, fixtures, flooring, colours, furnishings and surface finishes.  

Judging Note : Judging for this category will be finalised on Monday 27th August and Finalists will be announced on Tuesday 28th August.

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