Dezeen Magazine

PJ Lobster eyewear store in Barcelona by El Departamento

El Departamento designs Barcelona eyewear store as a "challenging visual exercise"

Slight variations in tone and texture differentiate surfaces inside the PJ Lobster glasses store in Barcelona, which Spanish interiors studio El Departamento has finished entirely in green.

The shop in the El Born district features walls, floors and stuccoed ceilings all covered in soft, tranquil tones of seafoam green, creating an immersive experience designed to challenge the eye.

Central counter inside PJ Lobster eyewear store
The PJ Lobster store in Barcelona is finished entirely in green

"The human eye is able to distinguish more different shades of green than any other colour," El Departamento told Dezeen. "That's because, deep inside us, we're still hunters from the prehistoric era."

"So that's what we wanted to aim for here, not to hunt anything but to recover the challenging visual exercise of exploring a wide range of greens."

Central mirrored counter inside eyewear store in Barcelona by El Departamento
A glossy counter stands at the centre of the shop

The practice was also influenced by Charles and Ray Eames's short film Powers of Ten, which explores the scales of the universe.

This informed El Departamento's study of different textures within the store "from macro to micro", from the small-grained velvety micro-cement on the floor to the rough textured plaster that was applied to the wall by hand to achieve the right level of thickness.

"We wanted to get to the last step, just before a texture becomes a topography," the studio said. "It was done manually, carefully and step by step to achieve the perfect state."

Eye examination room inside PJ Lobster eyewear store
The examination room is located at the rear of the store

Stainless steel is another key player in the store, used to create banks of display shelving that frame each pair of glasses, with the soft sheen of the metal creating a striking contrast with the deliberately blobby texture of the walls behind.

Another textural juxtaposition is provided by the large, capsule-like counter at the heart of the store with its high-shine gloss finish and mirrored top.

Further back in the store is an area dedicated to visual examinations, delineated by a shiny pleather curtain and a softer carpeted floor.

The result, according to El Departamento, is "a vibrant space that swings between the soft and the hard, the rough and the velvety".

Shelving inside eyewear store in Barcelona by El Departamento
Glasses are displayed on stainless steel shelves

The studio has been collaborating with PJ Lobster since the eyewear brand was founded in 2018 under the name Project Lobster, helping the company to expand from an online business into real-life stores.

With this latest outpost, El Departamento wanted to encapsulate the evolution of the brand and its products.

PJ Lobster eyewear store in Barcelona by El Departamento
The examination room is hidden behind a shiny pleather curtain

"We wanted to show that the brand has matured," the studio said. "We tried to show somehow the organic evolution of the brand by giving this space a more technical and precise atmosphere, where the wide range of textures speaks of the precision levels of the products."

Other monochrome eyewear stores include Lunettes Selection in Berlin, which is enveloped by mint-green floor-to-ceiling cabinets, and Melbourne's Vision Studio where cool-toned industrial materials such as aluminium and concrete are paired with grey marble surfaces.

The photography is by José Hevia.