abgc architecture
architecture & design


To overcome an irregular plan in a historic interior we elected to leave every piece of the original in-situ. Our insertion is a single continuous rail as the unifying element that creates the visual and literal narrative within the store, serving as both a definition of the space and the embodiment of what the space must provide. It adapts and moves to become hanging spaces at various heights, ceiling roses for pendant lighting, a signal to the privacy of the changing room, and the method to form the privacy itself.

2 central pieces of furniture are designed to float off the floor within a dialogue with the rail above, providing seating where the rail creates space, display where the rail provides light.

The materials are tactile yet masculine. Loose and fixed elements each contribute to this discussion; textured solid timber floorboards reflected in clean mirrored glass; walnut grain meeting polished cut brass fixings; soft natural leather hides behind a smooth painted surface.

Each piece and each material was carefully considered for its origin, use, application and installation. The ebony, full aniline leather hides used to finish the changing room were produced from an environmental tanning process using olive leaves to produce a soft, pure texture. To allow the leather to fall naturally we commissioned bespoke hoops from 5mm brass rod.

The projecting sign is a figurative distillation of the Strong Arm (as well as Tom of Finland), turned upside down and abstracted as a matt black mild steel and un-lacquered brass assemblage. The material order is also subverted; its hanging bracket, formed in brass, becomes the focus, while the traditional name plate is un-branded and silhouetted by neon. The usual counterpoint of the sign is reversed, reinforcing its ‘nowhereness’.

Elsewhere, a Japanese inspired aesthetic is inlaid in brass on the magazine rack, while the shoe rack references Kali, the many armed Indian Deity, with the corpus replaced by mirror. We are all gods, there is no god; you decide.

Visit the store online here.

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