Whole Foods Market, Detroit

Whole Foods Market’s core values of local, natural and environmentally responsible commerce are showcased in its store in downtown Detroit. The 21,506-sq.-ft. store, the retailer’s first location in the Motor City, features lower pricing and combines its signature organic and locally made/grown goods with a larger selection of private-label items and frozen and prepackaged foods.

The design celebrates the history and residents of the Motor City, from the antique Detroit signs re-fabricated by local artists to the Motown 45-LP records that on the checkout lane markers. A corrugated metal background for the cheese Department pays homage to the creative spirit of urban graffiti, while scraps of reclaimed and faded two-dimensional metal signs call out the take-out pizza and sandwich area.

The local vibe starts on the exterior, which features four large murals composed by local artists. Area artists also contributed heavily to the interior space, including a tile mural replica of the city of Detroit.

 Sustainability is integrated into the building, which was constructed from the ground up. Green elements include night curtains on refrigeration cases, doors on daily cases, a while roof, skylights, polished concrete flooring, LED lighting, low-flow faucets and toilets and a highly efficient refrigeration system.

In addition, many of the décor materials and equipment used in the space were reclaimed or recycled, with reclaimed wood seating booths and salvaged brick. Even the produce bins were reclaimed, coming from an old store that had closed. And at least 75% of the refrigerated cases were refurbished.

Design Consultant: JGA, Southfield, Mich.

Graphics/Signage: Design Fabrications, Madison Heights, Mich.

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