ORLANDO, Fla. — When planning its move into Florida, Wawa Inc. turned to New York City-based CBX to design a new prototype store specifically for the Sunshine State. The public got a look at the first of those stores during yesterday’s grand opening in Orlando.
The first Wawa in Florida, located on Central Florida Parkway across from SeaWorld Orlando, measures 4,600 square feet and is intended to reflect the language and style associated with Floridian vernacular architecture, according to the design company. Exterior characteristics include pastel colors, clapboard siding, pitched roofs and front porches that reference historic south and central Florida building types. The design also pays careful attention to landscaping, allowing the fuel islands and store to blend with its verdant surroundings.
The new ground-up convenience storereflects the prototypical design for Wawa’s wave of stores planned for the central Florida market. Four more Orlando stores are slated to open over the next four weeks, as CSNews Online previously reported.
“While the new design style is uniquely Floridian, every other visual reference is recognizably Wawa,” said convenience store designer Joseph Bona, CBX’s retail division president.
Customers familiar with Wawa locations in its other five markets — Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia – will still recognize the “winged” gas canopy, centrally located entry portal, ample up-front parking and the chain’s Canada Goose logo. The new Florida prototype, designed by CBX with the help of local architects and engineers Cuhaci & Peterson, features expansive windows that provide a clear view to the interior design.
The interior features red-tiled walls highlighting the center kitchen island. The counter area is adjoined to coffee and fountain beverage sections with a backdrop of a warmer taupe wall tile. Red drum shades are used over the coffee area and at the beverage coolers (positioned on the opposite side of the foodservice/specialty drink counter) to create a “sense of place,” Bona said.
In addition, CBX created a color and materials palette emphasizing natural stone, several types of tile, hard rock maple laminate (a creamy white with a reddish tinge) for modular fixtures and shelving, and gleaming copper accents. Elements were selected for their ability to contribute to the store’s warm and welcoming aura, while complementing the look and feel of the Sunshine State, he added.