News

Building Readapted for Upscale Homewood Sporting Goods Store

May 20, 2019

Brick-and-mortar shopping shouldn’t just be about the purchase itself, but also the ambiance the store provides. That’s the premise behind Caliber, a high-end firearms and sporting goods store in the Homewood section of Birmingham designed by Christopher Architecture and Interiors (CAI).

Caliber owners wanted to renovate the former Central Avenue trolley control building into a refined 4,200-square-foot retail space. The result is a contemporary interpretation of a hunting lodge that combines history and modern functionality.

An upscale hunting lodge feel with modern aesthetics was achieved through contrasting rustic stained western cedar, standing seam metal roofing, custom steel windows and fireplaces, blue stone paving and poured-in-place concrete walls executed through simple detailing, notes Senior Architect Jared Fulton.

Because the existing building was fronted by a loading dock and a footprint unsuitable for retail, about 80 percent of the original building was renovated with a 1,500-square-foot addition to the front, which increased the building’s street presence while aligning with neighboring storefronts.

The 24-foot, poured-in-place concrete gabled end is flanked by an entry-approach porch for “trunk shows” and parties. The porch roof is held off from the building to allow light to wash the concrete wall and provide natural light under the canopy. Being in a flood prone area, FEMA required the building to be flood resistant.

The interior is divided into fishing, apparel, firearms and utility space. Reclaimed oak wrapped “portals” help define transitions between areas. Concrete board-form wall is exposed on the interior to accent the fishing rod displays.

Reclaimed oak floors and ceiling bring warmth to the interior, which includes leather chairs, coffee tables, an 8-foot live-edge table and custom fixture displays designed not to distract from the products. A custom stone fireplace and coffee bar enhance the retail experience.
MDM Design Studio in Birmingham custom built the gun cases, clothing racks, displays, fishing rod racks, tables, cabinets and shoe displays.

The project expanded beyond the property. CAI worked with Alabama Power, the city of Homewood and adjacent property owners to create shared parking; adding bicycle lanes, re-working street parking and designing landscape buffers to control traffic and increase parking.
“These improvements have been vital in expanding the development of Homewood’s Central Avenue Business District,” Fulton says.

Image 1: A former Central Avenue trolley control building in the Homewood section of Birmingham has been converted into a sophisticated 4,200-square-foot space for Caliber, an elite firearms and sporting goods store.

Image 2: The existing building was fronted by a loading dock and a footprint unsuitable for retail, so roughly 80 percent of the original building was renovated with a 1,500-square-foot addition to the front. This increased the building’s street presence while aligning with neighboring storefronts.

Image 3: The interior is divided into fishing, apparel, firearms and utility space. Reclaimed oak wrapped “portals” help define transitions between each of the four separate areas.

Image 4: Reclaimed oak floors and ceiling add warmth to the interior, which includes leather chairs, coffee tables, an 8-foot live-edge table and custom fixture displays designed not to distract from the products but add to the hunting lodge mood.

*Article By Jessica Armstrong and Images Courtesy of Christopher Architecture and Interiors