The Conran Shop Seoul
by Conran and Partners, for The Conran Shop
The motivation behind the interiors of The Conran Shop Seoul was not to create a conventional store, but to design a space that evoked the atmosphere and drama of a gallery space – so that rather than simply displaying products, wares appear curated and deliberate.
Conran and Partners teamed up with retail conglomerate Lotte for the project, and the finished 2,300 sq m outlet sits across the ground and first floors of Lotte’s Gangnam annex building, a space that was once a multi-storey car park. The building’s origins worked well with the team’s ambitions, providing a large and clear grid space, though it did present challenges with its lowered ceiling which while typical for a car park, is not a common feature in a new-build retail site.
The perimeter of the shop has been opened to allow maximum light, while the centre of the space uses switch-back escalators as a “dramatic architectural feature”. Throughout the shop, there are two distinct identities at play: the ground floor is clean and light, combining concrete, steel and glass to capture an “experimental” feeling, while the first floor presents shoppers with a “richly atmospheric club feel”, encouraging them to interact with the residential furniture on display.
While both boast different approaches, the two floors are united the Conran blue brand colour.
The judges said: “The design is really clean, clear and has an interesting palette of materials and colours. It succeeds in creating an attractive retail environment where the individual design objects stand out and look their best, with a minimal, yet distinct, design identity.”
by Bruce Mau Design, for Aurora
Across the world, the benefits of the cannabis plant and its derivatives are slowly being brought to the fore, and one of the largest companies in the field is cannabis producer Aurora. For its flagship store in West Edmonton, Canada, the brand brought in the team at Bruce Mau Design, to create a dual- purpose space for both experiences and retail.
Working in such a highly regulated industry, the 11,000 sq ft project posed some interesting design challenges and the finished space is “age- gated”. The recurring theme throughout the shop is the meeting of nature and tech – which aims to showcase both the natural elements at the core of the Aurora brand and the high-tech production methods it uses. There are references to mountains, sky, water and the sun, while a digital skylight floods the space with a sense of natural light.
by JHP Design, for Hyundai Development Corporation
Wanting to capture the sense of ceremony that comes with eating out in many Asian countries, JHP Design worked with Hyundai Development Corporation to create District 7.
The food space, some 5,000 sq m in total, has been split into three different sections, which aim to cater specifically for the difference occasions diners have for visiting.
The Lanes, its first section, has been designed as a bustling marketplace with alleyways and street counters. Central, the second section located on District 7’s piazza, is a place for friends and family to dine comfortably. Finally, for the finest of restaurants, JHP has created the Crescent – a discreet area where “major decisions are made”.
RHS Garden Wisley
by gpstudio, for RHS
A place that sells the most unusual and rare varieties of plants necessarily needs a retail space to match, which is why when the Royal Horticultural Society made plans for its new Welcome and Plant Centres at RHS Garden Wisley, they called upon the expertise of GPStudio.
Boasting a garden centre, book shop, members’ lounge, plant lab and hospitality outlets, the space is designed to be “inspiring”, while also promoting awareness of the RHS charity. The Garden has been carefully planned to enhance the customer journey, using warm colours and materials, while key focal points have been designated as points of interest in each department, like the Library, Potting Shed and gardens. Encouraging customers to pause and explore, these areas can be used to display seasonal promotions, events and interactive installations.
Brompton Junction – Singapore
by Made in Place Design, for Brompton Bicycle
Pioneers of the folding bicycle, the Brompton Bicycle brand now produces some 40,000 a year. With a strong London heritage, translating this to a store in Singapore required careful consideration and the brief given to the Made In Place team asked that they go beyond the traditional bike shop format.
The finished product is a space engaged in several practices: it works as a “serious” retail environment, but also as a community hub. This is achieved aesthetically with a shopfront designed to look like a traditional workshop entrance, while a deconstructed shed set in the middle of the space aims to represent the brand’s eccentricity. First and foremost a bike shop, the rest of the store is designed to promote Brompton’s product, with each bicycle presented within the space’s “cube wall”, while other areas have been designed as perfect demonstration environments.
by Dalziel and Pow
Behind Dalziel and Pow’s work with high street health and beauty retailer Boots was the desire to create the “store of the future”. In designing Boots’ 28,524 sq ft flagship space in Covent Garden, the team has created a store that acts both as a flexible retail environment and a place for consumers to have “innovative experiences”. Zones have been employed throughout to give the shopper a sense of place among Boot’s various product categories.
Baton lighting and mirrored discs contrast with a dark ceiling on the ground floor as part of Boots’ beauty section, which comes complete with a Discovery Area for shoppers to learn more about new trends and products. Meanwhile upstairs in the Wellness Hall a stark contrast has been introduced, with a natural colour palette and natural light accented with greenery. Elsewhere, Boots’ traditional pharmacy and opticians offerings have been revamped into more “inviting spaces”.