The Grand America is a luxury hotel in Salt Lake City, UT. With 775 rooms, the 24-story hotel is one of the select few to earn the title of AAA Five Diamond Hotel. Apart from fancy rooms with “Murano crystal chandeliers, handcrafted Richelieu furniture, English wool carpets, Carrera Italian marble, and the finest fabrics,” the hotel features a handful of high-end stores, including the brand new JouJou: A Curious Boutique for Toys and Treats. Local firm Struck was in charge of developing this whole new little world.
Struck was delighted to rebrand The Grand America Hotel’s toy store, we completely embraced the challenge of bringing the environment to life. It’s a realm where imagination takes flight — in the playful form of fire-breathing dragons, elusive fairies, robot warriors and peculiar monsters. This haven for child-like curiosity includes a stunning new interior, a full brand identity, promotions, merchandise and packaging. Struck sourced original toys and books and filled it with lavish and rare gifts. The finished location is a magical experience for guests young and old, mixing hand-crafted installations with interactive digital canvases and delicious treats. Contributors included: Struck, Watts Architects, Plastik Banana, Chris DeMuri, The Second Artist and Chase Studio.
While I would normally saddle you all with plenty of opinion, there is a lot to see in this post, so I’ll keep it to a minimum. This whole project is truly stunning. What I like most about it is that there are no overarching rules or one style that dominates over another. It’s the proverbial “throwing on the wall and see what sticks” except that everything has stuck. It’s modern, it’s baroque, it’s digital, it’s European, it’s fantasy-filled. It’s everything any kid could be stimulated by. And for us designers, it’s an equal treat.
For detailed information and more how-did-they-do-that? details there is this PDF to satisfy your curiosity.
The store includes an interactive wall called Monsterpiece Theater consisting of ten different animated monsters, each contained in their own unique frame and environment. Monsters were designed by Struck and Mister, animated by Plenty.tv and developed by Welikesmall. The rendered monster assets were brought to life using Mac minis, Arduino Uno prototyping boards and the open Frameworks C++ toolkit. Each monster consists of a custom monster application built in openFrameworks, powered by its own Mac mini. Those minis are then paired with an Arduino prototyping board wired to an IR sensor which allows us to temporarily bridge the gap between the digital and physical world when each monster detects and interacts with a human presence.
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