Saturday, 26 June 2010

Architects build small spaces, V&A, London

Dotted around the Victoria and Albert Museum right now are a series of small spaces, refuges and retreats. I cant help but love these spaces and consider how we could use some of these concepts within a commercial or retail context. "Small spaces such as these can push the boundaries and possibilities of creative practice. A shift in scale towards smaller, bespoke structures encourages a heightened sensitivity to materials, texture and proportion. A renewed clarity emerges allowing architects freedom of expression that often struggles to survive in larger building projects". These spaces are potentially a great starting point from where we can begin thinking about our own commercial spaces. I'm not suggesting of course that we take 'pieces' like this and simply placing them within a commercial environment. This kind of 'pick up and drop' is endemic in retail. However, what I am suggesting is that these beautifully design spaces can be used as inspiration in the development of retail concepts and thus avoid the 'White boxes' that we are expected to accept for most of our retail experiences. What do you think?

Levis, London

Don't you just love this store? OK, well I'm not personally over excited about the brand or in fact the merchandise but this store is simply delicious. This site really does go from strength to strength. It may be that as it is a newly revamped store it perhaps has been given a larger budget and I guess it is a flagship store after all. From my experience, these kind of stores get all of the attention for the first several months in order to launch them and then the focus strays elsewhere, malaise appears to set in and then the marketing budget simply drops away or goes elsewhere. The Marketing budget leaving is fine, the VM budget leaving is not. Still, enjoy it while you can. The repetition of these templates / patterns / slopers or blocks, depending on what you want to call them work particularly well in this warehouse style environment. Ebenezer Butterick and James McCall would be proud.

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