Monday 2 November 2009

Habitat, London

Those of you around the world who are not familiar with this brand, it was founded in 1964 by Sir Terrance Conran in order for him to market his Summa range of furniture. Having been controlled by a variety of people since Conran left the company during the 1980's, I believe it is now owned by Ikea, although this doesn't seem to be common knowledge or at least, it seems that they are reluctant to shout about it (I may be wrong so please do let me know if you have more informed information) Anyway, the initial 1960's concept consisted of white washed walls, tiled floors and spot lighting. This created a sense of space within the retail environment and allowed the customer to concentrate on the product. The stores are now rather more sophisticated than the initial concept and as we can see here from their Regent St. store, it is exceptionally well presented. The team have used pieces of circular vinyl placed on the glass, reminiscent of one of those colour blindness tests. Anyway, the circular symbol has been used throughout the space creating an interesting rhythm. My own interest in coloured fluorescent lighting in schemes is waning a little as they have been flogged to death for so long in so many other places, however I think they do elevate the scheme and they do highlight particular areas which draws the eye toward them - so this cant be a bad thing. The dark grey back wall gives this enormous promotional space a sense of drama and context.

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