Image Credit : Photographer: Andrew Worssam Photography https://worssamphotography.com/





Project Overview

It was believed that Theia, the Greek Goddess of sight, was granted the ability to see spirits and witness a world beyond the mortal realm. Her divinity didn’t end there, as she endowed gold, silver and gems with their glimmering qualities. Her ethereal abilities inspired our concept for a new optometry store, Theia Optical.

Project Commissioner

Theia Optical

Project Creator

Vie Studio

Project Brief

Situated within Five Dock, the area's primary demographic is a mature Italian population. As the large portion of their clientele would be from passers-by, it was integral that our store would appeal to all genders and a wide age range while staying true to the aura of Theia – graceful and classy. These divine characteristics are furthered through the warm beige colour scheme of the store, a backdrop that perfectly complements the sage green and brass accents.

Honing in on the spatial specifications for the store, we also had to consider the different areas of operation that the store required; shelving displays for their glasses, consultation rooms, reception areas and general waiting areas for customers. As a through-line, we kept comfort above all, wanting to create a space that exceeds the customer’s expectations of hospitality.

Project Innovation/Need

Our thematic approach to this store was a combined exploration of Grecian motifs and moments of visual clarity. We applied this to our material selection to mimic the optical experience of seeing in and out of focus. The contrasting textures of the display shelves introduce this material dialogue, where the grainy marble surfaces juxtapose the sleek panels of brass. Our textural exploration not only depicts the interplay of gloss versus undulation but also hearkens back to the traditional elements of the Grecian era. This is furthered by the monolithic column-like plinths, which command the attention of all who walk by. The dynamic curved light feature, luxurious bouclé furniture and soft sage rug round off the design.

Despite the variety of materials at play, the polarity between the textures emphasises the notion of focusing. These micro and macro scales of texture mirror the act of lenses ‘zooming’ in, highlighting how a small, simple instrument can grant one a better sight.

Design Challenge

The key challenge in this project was creating a new and exciting store within the limitations of the existing structure. Rather than demolishing and building from the ground up, we transformed the space into the client's vision. The final spatial layout retained the existing bones entirely; the shopfront and the layout of the rooms.


Our sustainability concerns were two-fold. The first was our decision to work within the built structures of the shop. Adopting the mindset of upgrading rather than demolishing, we were able to reduce the high wastage that comes with ground-up renovations. This motive is aligned with our approach to visual design, which has a classic and timeless feel that can age without renovation.

We also took into consideration the sourcing of our materials. Because our material selection related closely to the depiction of our concept, we considered environmental impacts from the onset. While sticking to the textural aesthetics of the Greek era, we re-imagined those under a lens of sustainability. The recurring use of timber best embodied this, a deliberate choice due to its recyclability.

This award celebrates innovative and creative 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.
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