Comfort zone When a retailer demands a store design that will not only sell, but also teach and touch the customer, comfort becomes a commodity. Rockport did just that when planning its prototype store on West Broadway in New York. In the category of New or Renovated Specialty Store (under 2,000 sq. ft.), Bergmeyer Associates Inc., Boston, was awarded the 2000 SADI for its design work on the project.

The architect's intent was to carry the lightness and engineered comfort found in Rockport's products into the new prototype. The same high-tech construction techniques used to create the shoes on display were applied to the store's metal fixture, the precision-fit of each fixture's joining and seams and to the shop's out-riggered systems.

"Lighthouse" fixtures were fabricated to lead the customer to the rear of the store, to differentiate the men's from the women's areas, and to provide room for merchandise. A glowing circle of light above each fixture reinforces the lighthouse concept. Blues, purples and greens - colors expressive of nature - are utilized in the store's custom settees. Warm white paint with a light sheen covers the walls, and recessed indirect lighting adds to the store's warm ambiance.

AWARD RECIPIENT BERGMEYER ASSOCIATES INC. Boston * bergmeyer.com

CLIENT THE ROCKPORT CO. Marlboro, Mass. Product Manufacturers/Suppliers: Kugler Tillotson, New York (lighting designer); Atlas, Los Angeles (carpet); Herman Miller, Zeeland, Mich. (furniture); Machine Age, Boston (furniture); Knoll Inc., Boston (furniture); Furniture Concepts, Malden, Mass. (furniture); REP Source, Boston (furniture); Leolux, Germany (furniture); Montage, Boston (furniture); Adesso, Boston (furniture)