A very nice project by architects Estudio Mariscal, who designed a new shop for H&M in Barcelona, Spain. Estudio Mariscal designed the device, architecture, lighting and graphic work up to even the design of the shopping bags. Here’s some more information that I found via Urbanpromoter.
A design project aimed at creating excitement among the customers that go into the shop. Excitement at buying clothes and also to be shopping in a pleasant, comfortable, unique place. To make sure that the area is the setting for a pleasant, fun-filled experience. Second objective: that the clothes should find their own place, that the distribution of the shop should order the exhibition of the clothes and the routes. Design at the service of the shop’s activity, never the other way round.
The new H&M shop is found in the most commercial street of Barcelona, Portal de l’Àngel, in the building which was, until recently, the head office of the company Catalana de Gas. The original building, which is listed, is a vestige of the bourgeois architecture from the end of the 19th century, and is the work of Domènech Estapà, an architect who was opposed to the Modernista movement and more inclined towards a neo-classical style.
The fact that it is listed and the architectural style of the building were two premises that partly marked our project. The listing was, on the one hand, a real headache in complying with the heritage regulations. But, on the other hand, it was an opportunity to work on a space with noucentista proportions; from a time when square meters were not measured in terms of profitability, hence the huge staircase and the empty space that reaches up into the dome. A genuine old-fashioned luxury.
The change of use of the building was another conditioning factor for the project. We converted an area destined to be the offices of an important company into a modern clothes shop aimed, mainly, at young people, lovers of the latest trends. This meant approaching the project by trying to conciliate the “old” with the “new”. A remorse, bourgeois, baroque dialogue with a pop, modern, contemporary style.
We were very respectful with the different architectural features. We made a great effort to reform the building, highlighting the aspects which, over time and the different uses of the building in its latest stage, had been removed or altered. Things like the dome, the three public rooms, the staircase well and the imperial staircase.
We conceived an ephemeral interior architecture, composed of features that can be added and removed. A second exempt skin was superimposed on the old architecture, creating a new image, without blurring the original. This, which could have been an obstacle throughout the project, became an incentive as it finally helped us to achieve a multipurpose space which is flexible, modular and versatile. The objective, at all times, was to order the product to show H&M collections in the best possible way, which is why the second skin is neutral, in black and white.
In the entrance, we started an explosion of light, colour and movement, through the LED screens. This entrance works as a shop window, shop sign and access. The communication between the interior and the exterior, which normally happens through the shop window, in this case consists of a virtual shop window. The pedestrian street is a flood of people that the entrance to H&M absorbs like a vacuum cleaner. To respect the façade, a minimal logo was placed.
The staircase and the dome are two very important features of the alteration. We have emphasised the stairwell, the emptiness created by the staircase. The new staircase that has been built is not as important as the stairwell through which the light from the dome that tops the building travels. This central atrium communicates the floors and allows the natural light to pervade the interior. The cone is a metaphor, a symbol of rising up into the heights, a spiral towards the sky to capture the light.
In the new basement, sculptural features are integrated providing colour and identity to the space. A series of cactuses, in organic shapes, upholstered in materials in bright colours spatter the area and give it character.
In addition to the interior design and the design of the furniture, Estudio Mariscal was responsible for the lighting and its image and communication.
It is important to recognise, in a project such as this one, the creative freedom that H&M gave us at all times and the cordial, fluent relationship we have had with the client during all the stages of the project.
Info from press doc./ for more pictures and information click on Mariscal.com
Photographs by Rafael Vargas info and pictures from Mariscal.com press.