Puma City, Part One: Inside the Store

While we covered some of the basics in our previous post, yesterday we got the chance to spend a good deal of time climbing all over Puma City, closely examining what has generated so much interest on the Boston waterfront. While the exterior is striking with its Puma graphics and generous cantilevered decks, it was the quality and scale of space on the interior that made the experience worthwhile. Based on the simple 8'x40' module, the shipping containers are cut, shifted, and stacked to create a rich series of layered interior and exterior spaces...

The first floor contains most of the retail functions, highlighted by two double-height spaces. The second floor is punctured with two decks, making it light and airy. The third floor is more of a meandering space dotted with skylights and contains the bar and dramatic cantilevered deck.

The aesthetic is decidedly industrial — exposed screws and chalk lines with bright, red steel add all the decoration needed. The ceilings, though low, help push the relatively narrow space outward and details like full-height mirrors along exterior edges expand the views and trick you into thinking it is larger than it is. The floors and ceiling are all wood — actually, the standard wood found in all shipping containers — making them durable while adding warmth to the space.

We know this is not a home or apartment but look at the quality of space created from such a mundane artifact — it is inspiring and small details such as the mirrors could be applied to any small spaces. To contrast, Part Two of our tour will be of one of Puma's racing boats and a lesson in serious carbon fiber small space living (with 10 of your closest sailing buddies).

Check out Volvo Ocean Race for more information on the racing schedule. Puma city will be open to the public until May 16 when the race heads to Galway, Ireland. There will be an in-port race on Saturday May 9 and if you're curious what all this racing is about, check out the Puma Ocean Racing blog and these videos. As bike fans, we'd say it's the Tour De France of sailing.

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