Case Study: YOUR BLUE STORE
Six Weeks of Research
After visiting the existing BCBS stores, we spent six weeks interviewing employees from the CEO and other top executives, to store managers and sales associates—and even sat in the lobby and spoke with members themselves. We delved into research of healthcare and other types of service retail. We learned all we could about the needs of the store and the members. After compiling all of our findings, we set out to create a schematic design.
With a solid schematic design in place, we developed the design, focusing on branding the store with company colors, warmth, and a sense of home. Health is a personal, sensitive topic and far too often, medical facilities are cold and sterile, which was everything we did not want the store to feel. We proposed warm walnut wood accents, a clean bright white interior with colorful accents, various lounge and seating areas, and cozy, private meeting spaces to help members feel comfortable and at ease when discussing the intimate topic of their health. Simple three-dimensional views provided the client with a sense of the architecture of the space, conceptual images helped the client to visualize the ideas and specific furniture imagery gave them a sense of exactly what we were proposing.
Finally, we worked closely with E.W. Burman, Inc. to make sure any questions that come up are answered in accordance with our ultimate design intent. Bringing a design to life requires consistent on-site supervision. We are in the field regularly to ensure that every decision made is one that reflects the best possible design.
A project like Your Blue Store takes an enormous amount of collaboration, from client to design team to builder and everything in between. In the end, Rhode Island Monthly honored all of us with a 2018 Design Award. Check that out here and see more images from this project in our portfolio.
When Blue Cross Blue Shield RI approached us about designing a “flagship” retail store, we were thrilled with the challenge of doing something we’d never done before—”service retail.” We teamed up with Kite Architects and went straight to work on a six week discovery phase. And we consider that the key to our ultimate success. Even though our timeline for design delivery was tight, we took the time to learn everything we needed to know before we started any design work.
Equipped with in-depth knowledge, our efforts to diagram the operations and adjacencies into a schematic plan for the store came quickly. Major ideas were: multiple waiting areas, a pay station at the front desk, a dedicated staff room for employee administrative work, multiple meeting rooms to serve a variety of group sizes, one room for the nurse care associate and a large area for fitness and wellness classes.
In the final phase of design, we pull all of the concepts into a set of documents that provides a road map for the builder. This is where we finalize every last detail, how things will be built, where every light is located, etc. Our detailed drawings allow the contractor to understand every intention within the design in order to properly execute the build out. From interior elevations to technical details, these documents create a way for all of the collaborators to remain on the same page to ensure the final product is as the design intended.
A month into the opening of Your Blue Store, BCBSRI hosted a party to announce the store and celebrate its arrival to East Providence, Rhode Island. There, all the team members: the BCBSRI creative team, KITE Architects, KTID, E.W. Burman, city officials and members of the community came out to celebrate the grand opening of the store.