The project for the design of the Allcom Shop in St Julians, a contemporary touristic town evolved on the traces set out by the original fishing village and the later Victorian summer residential spa, owes its genesis to the concept, developed in the sixties by Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi, that the function of publicity in the context of the contemporary city was to serve as a vehicle that could contribute to lift the urban space of the town to
the level of art . The development that contains the outlet is a retail and commercial venture limited inexorably with the rules that regulate the relationship between the market and the operator, supply and demand. Inevitably, the outer skin of the shop will be the `page` on which the text guiding
the users` choices will be written. Excessive and disorganized `text` was avoided at all costs, since this would create chaos and visual noise, with consequent detrimental effects on the potential attraction of an important market. The generation of a semantically rich, but grammatically correct, communication was therefore of paramount importance in the design of the outlet. In spite of this, the mission of Allcom to enhance and promote communication requires the creation of a strong message serving to publicize its functions and products. This message must at all costs be `loud and clear`.

The space available is designed as a giant billboard, or simply as a unique, deep shop window, one which is not only visible to passers-by at ground level, but also by pedestrians using the first floor passages and bridge. A two dimensional surface wraps around the space, forming a screen on which images are projected. The latter engulf the whole space and are read both from a distance and from close up. Customers, and their shadows, interact with these images, becoming part of and participating with them.




David Pisani