Slade Architecture has designed the first ever Barbie Flagship for Mattel. The 35,000 square foot store holds the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of Barbie dolls and licensed Barbie products, as well as a range of services and activities for Barbie fans and their families.
Slade Architecture led the design including the exterior, interior, fixtures, and furnishings. Slade’s design is a sleek, fun, unapologetically feminine interpretation of Barbie: past, present, and future.
For the new facade, Slade Architecture combined references to product packaging, decorative arts, fashion and architectural iconography to create a modern identity for the store, expressing Barbie’s cutting-edge fashion sense and history.
The facade is made of two layers: molded, translucent polycarbonate interior panels and flat exterior glass panels printed with a whimsical lattice frit pattern. Slade collaborated with designers at BIG, who created the final exterior frit graphics. The two layers reinforce each other visually and interact dynamically through reflection, shadow and distortion.
Visitors are enveloped by curvaceous, pearlescent surfaces of the lobby, leading to a pink escalator tube that takes them from the bustle of the street, to the double-height main floor.
The central feature is a three-story spiral staircase enclosed by eight hundred Barbie dolls. The staircase and the dolls are the core of the store; everything literally revolves around Barbie. The staircase links the three retail floors:
The women’s floor, the doll floor and the Barbie Design Center, where girls design their own Barbie is on this floor. This activity was planned by Chute Gerdeman Retail and designed by Slade Architecture.
Throughout the retail areas, Slade played with the scale differences between dolls, girls and women. They reinforced the feeling of youth and the possibilities of an unapologetically girlish outlook (regardless of age) by mixing reality and fantasy and keeping play and fun at the forefront – to create a space where optimism and possibility reign supreme as expressions of core Barbie attributes.
Architect/Interior Designer: Slade Architecture
Location: Shanghai, China
Construction area: 2,790 sqm
Photos by Iwaan Baan!
Via Yatzer and Arch Daily