Podium Level , Shakespeare Tower , Barbican , London , EC2Y 8DR
Casper Mueller Kneer worked with Vancouver-based Scott & Scott to design this new concept store. The store at 950 Homer Street in Yaletwon, is a multi-brand avant-garde fashion store incorporating a bookshop, café, lifestyle and health products, as well as private shopping areas. It is arranged over two floors and 2.000m2 of space, set within a former envelope factory. The existing art deco building has a visually dominant structural grid and a beautiful concrete floor, which has the history of previous occupants inscribed into its layered and worn surface like a palimpsest. Services ducts are exposed and follow the structural grid, emphasising a strong directionality. The design retains much of the as-found features of the space, while introducing distinctly new materials and geometries. A new wall system made from aluminium clad L-shaped elements is rotated at 45 degrees against the existing building grid forming pochets of space to be populated by different product groups, as well as a central place. On the upper level the raw, unfinished aluminium, itself monochrome, is alive with ghosted reflections of the environment. The colours of clothes, floor, the environment outside, and the occupants resonate within the material. This effect is enhanced by the rotation, as well as the use of actual mirrors, set within the aluminium surfaces which project views from across the space. The lower floor has a darker and initmate feel, with black mirrored volumes concealing personal shopping areas. Private lounge spaces are lined with a dense industrial wool felt. The spatial interventions are complimented with bespoke display vitrines, glass and aluminium counters, steel hanging rails and shelves, which were custom designed specifically for the project, and fabricated by local craftsmen.