To survive that long in the cut and thrust world of British retail requires a knack for reinvention and a betrothal to anything new and cutting edge.
In the creation of the new Body Studio segment of the labyrinth store the business has overseen the instillation of LED for the first time, in a Lux Award nominated lighting scheme from Nulty+.
The new 37,000 square foot space, which is Selfridges largest ever department, is a retail concept dedicated entirely to women’s body wear, such as hosiery, sleepwear and lingerie. The area also offers personal-shopping services, a beauty salon and a cafe.
Chinese Interior architects Neri & Hu developed the inside look, which takes its cues from both Japanese and Californian design. The designers aimed to producing a space that was quietly sexy, which plays openly with the notions of public and private.
Chinese Interior architects Neri & Hu developed the inside look, which takes its cues from both Japanese and Californian design.
The lighting needed to compliment the subdued luxury of the feminine and uncluttered interior aesthetic and each individual retail pocket within the space required its own identity, mood and character.
The illumination concept reinforces the design vision rather than dominating it and opts to create an intimate, calming and personal shopping experience for the customer, with a focus on making them look and feel beautiful.
The lighting needed to support the subdued luxury of the feminine and uncluttered interior aesthetic.
Each customer has a unique trip when they enter the store depending on the time of day. During the sunlight hours natural light pours into the space from the nearby courtyard and two large skylights. Natural light is quite a rarity in department stores of Selfridges advanced age, just consider Harrods in London’s Kensington, parts of which lack any natural light whatsoever.
At night the studio is transformed into an intimate and visually stimulating retail space, where the light tells a story and showcases the contrasts between the interior retail areas.
The lighting works to highlight the separate and distinctive retail areas.
Upon entering the store in the evening the shopper is greeted by large lanterns in the form of back illuminated Barrisol panels, carefully positioned over the escalators to create an impressive approach to the Body Studio.
In keeping with the Japanese motif, shoji screens wrap around the interior courtyard and are cleverly backlit using LED sheets, replicating the lucent light of a traditional Japanese tea house.
The changing rooms are stylish and ordered and have been designed to provide a relaxed experience..
The designers at Nulty+ opted to keep the ceiling layout as uniform as possible, which provides a consistent vernacular to the overall space, while surface mounted LED spotlights have been used to achieve maximum flexibility.
Joinery lighting, which picks up on vertical surfaces illuminating the merchandise, has also been used to create a sense of depth and drama, which is entirely necessary in a space where narrative adventure plays a very large part.
Linear LED tape washes the ceiling of each changing booth in order to create a welcoming space.
The bespoke fitting rooms utilise colour rendering and offer comfortable light levels to make, what can sometime be a rushed experience, much more calming and enjoyable for the customer.
Linear LED tape washes the ceiling of each changing booth, creating a diffused, soft light to avoid unnecessary shadows on the human form.
The ceiling layout has been designed to be uniform in order to create a consistent vernacular.
The Body Studio scheme minimises maintenance and maximises energy efficiency demonstrating that a sophisticated, luxury retail environment can be achieved, while reducing the energy used for lighting. Not only this, but the lighting scheme helps to continue the long tradition of innovative Oxford Street department store shopping.
The following companies provided lighting equipment for the project:
- The full list of Lux Awards nominees for 2016 can be found here. The Lux Awards will be held on the 24th of November 2016 at The InterContinental London - The O2 on the Greenwich Peninsula. Tables are on sale now and you can find out more here.