The Cinema at Selfridges is the result of an exclusive partnership with one of London film fans’ favourite independent boutique cinema, the Olympic Studios, which has much loved locations both in Barnes and Battersea. Selfridges is the first department store in the world to install a permanent cinema.
Designed by Selfridges in-house team and FDArchitecture, it’s got three screens in total: a 70-seat main screen, a second 59-seater, and a third 28-seater, and they’re all filled with curved rows of lush, reclining Norwegian seats.
Luxury aside, the thing that makes the Olympic-operated screens great is the sound. The three-screen facility is fitted with the latest state-of-the-art sound and vision technology.
Funky bar and snack areas serve cocktails and food on demand underpinning it all for pre/post drinks.
The outside entrance on Duke Street, which has been the focus of a £300m investment and masterplan based on the never-realised ambition of its US founder Harry Gordon Selfridge to create a unified block within the Oxford Street, Orchard Street, Wigmore Street and Duke Street quadrant.
Design by Jamie Fobert Architects [incorporating The Bowl by MightyMighty]; FDArchitecture were appointed as CA and Executive Architect to deliver the project to Selfridges by November 2018.
Selfridges’ Men’s Streetwear department occupies the last remaining interior of the original Selfridges building, dating back to 1909. Retention and then reinstatement of all the original cornicing, columns and capitals is brilliantly offset by the rugged, masculine aesthetic of the department design by JFA.
Comprised principally of disciplined arrays of raw aluminium floor and ceiling fixtures they allow for the original building detail to remain visible and be celebrated. This principle is reinforced by the rigorous and controlled arrangement of the exposed building services and lighting which both support and enhance the department.
The space also features the bold use of natural daylighting across both elevations and some fun and surprising ‘Instagram-able’ moments too, not least the custom Land Rover squarely placed in the middle of the space. To achieve this the chassis was first hoisted up the exterior of the building and passed through a window before the car could be hand-built in the middle of the building site.
Rivalling this, a dramatic wooden skate bowl, good enough to draw droves of dedicated skaters from across the country, sits in the corner with Duke Street and Oxford Street and provides the whole space with its soundtrack and the skaters and shoppers alike with a unique experience.
Design by Neri & Hu Architects (Shanghai & London); FDArchitecture were appointed in 2014 by Selfridges & Co to act as their Executive Architects in the delivery of The Body Studio. A key project within the Selfridges 5-year overhaul and 300m development plan of the Duke Street buildings. The Body Studio is 37,000sqft and Selfridges largest department within their flagship store on Oxford Street, dedicated entirely to women’s lingerie and bodywear.
The Body Studio was designed to celebrate and empower all their customers and for them to feel truly positive about their bodies irrespective of shape or size; promoting well-being, mindfulness and encouraging ‘innerwear’ as ‘outerwear’.
The department includes a series of distinct spaces for activewear, hosiery, loungewear, lingerie and swimwear, VIP areas, a health café for Hemsley & Hemsley and a Daniel Galvin salon space [separately designed by Universal Design Studio].
We worked closely with the concept designers and Client throughout the project and over a demanding 21-week construction programme and the successful opening of the Body Studio in April 2016 was a result of the strong and cohesive design and construction team behind it. With this team, FDA overcame time and budget constraints, to handover a highly bespoke and premium retail “experience” to the Clients’ full satisfaction.
Design by Alex Cochrane Architects; FDArchitecture were appointed as CA and Executive Architect in 2017 to deliver the project to Selfridges by July 2018.
Selfridges’ new optical destination completed the store’s magnificent Accessories Hall refurbishment.
Combining both store retail displays and brand areas to Chanel and Absolute the department also includes a full Opticians service with its own discrete and intimate assessment and treatment rooms set away from the shop floor.
The intricate and jewel-like lighting to this luxury area’s display cabinets and displays ultimately received the award for Retail Lighting at the 2018 LIT Lighting Design Awards.
Queens Medical Centre – Retail Development
Concept Design by FDArchitecture; Following the extension of the Nottingham Express Transit [tram] system, FDArchitecture were approached to provide proposal designs for a new satellite entrance building to the Queens Medical Centre by a third party Client.
The new building was conceived to receive the public arriving and departing from the new NET tram stop being built to the south of the hospital but, crucially for the Hospital Trust, this would also provide both commercial and infrastructure opportunities for them and help them future-proof the site by providing a literal platform for the development of more clinical space at a later date.
The building design is greatly dictated by the limitations of the site conditions; it is set within an existing open court where light into existing wards must be retained, existing servicing must continue and be supplemented at street level and the elevated position of the tram line required the linkage to occur at high-level, in effect forming a sort of inhabited bridge.
Inevitably, commercial opportunities are paramount to the funding of the building and as such, along the link route, the structure principally provides high quality retail and catering offers in line with NHS guidance, but importantly it also allows for new public spaces too and these enjoy prime locations and views afforded from their high position.
Through 2014 and 2015 FDArchitecture have been appointed by Gianni Versace to act as their Executive Architects in the delivery of several new stores across the UK. Three differing brands are being developed in all.
Versace Black Label – Concept Design: Jamie Foubert Architects, Gianni Versace Milan.
Versace Collection – Concept Design: Gianni Versace Milan.
Versus Versace – Concept Design: Carmody Groake Architects London, Gianni Versace Milan.
Design by Alex Cochrane Architects; FDArchitecture appointed as CA and Executive Architect in 2013 to deliver the project to Selfridges in July 2014.
Timescale and cost control were fundamental to the success of this project as well as the delivery of the finished product to the satisfaction of both the Client and the principle design Architect – Alex Cochrane.
The characteristic of this project throughout its duration was the strength of the team which enabled it to be handed-over slightly ahead of the original schedule and on budget.
Located within one of London’s premium fashion areas, Brompton Cross. FDArchitecture were appointed in 2013 to work with Campaign Design and 3.1 Phillip Lim to deliver the Pelham Street store.
“The fashion is the feature of the space displayed on workshop plinths and studio canvases. That casually mix up materials, luxurious marble slabs with layers of multiply, felt and onyx, concrete and many unexpected materials, in a design that is youthful and elegant”.
In tandem with FDA’s development for Carven in the next door site this project, new for Phillip Lim in the UK, was fitted out within 6 weeks following a 4 weeks structural enabling project.
Set within the now iconic gateway to Manchester’s luxury shopping quarter, this high-end retail scheme for Giorgio Armani includes two levels in excess of 6,000 Sq. Ft.
Constructed in UV bonded glass and low-iron black quartz glass, the perimeter furniture had to be sourced in Switzerland where expertise existed to achieve the required 4 meters in the black glass. The façade includes a 100Ft wingspan illuminated Eagle logo that changes colour with each season’s collection.
The internal stair is a span structure built without any support beneath. Clad in black granite, the stair uses that glass balustrade as a strengthening member to achieve the span.
Since 2005 Giorgio Armani Brands delivered by FDA include – Black Label, Armani Collezioni, Emporio Armani, Armani Casa, Armani Jeans and Armani Exchange.
French fashion brand Carven has chosen this prestigious South Kensington Brompton Cross location for their first UK store in London. FDA were appointed as Executive Architects to develop and deliver Eric Chevalier’s concept.
Based on an oversized wardrobe idea the design features floor-to-ceiling mirrors, oak clad walls and elegant white mosaic tiles, creating visually enlarged and fresh interior. Innovative mix of common materials and richer elements resulted in a familiar and accommodating space where the main focus remains on the clothing with the large back wall being entirely devoted to a playfully show off Carven’s signature rounded collars.
The new Carven store was successfully completed within 6 weeks programme, with FDA involved in developing Phillip Lim store next door simultaneously.
FDArchitecture have now designed and implemented 5 individual outlet stores for retail brands we had already worked with.
Each store differs from their high street equivalent as they must follow the lead of the brand concept but are not slaves to it so that they can be built within more restricted budgets. The design for these is therefore more strategic as the public on the whole should not be able to readily distinguish between each store type.
Fixture materials and colour schemes will typically be on brand with back of house elements and partitioning usually simplified for these spaces.
AX ARMANI EXCHANGE STORES
FDArchitecture had been involved with this brand before and after the development of a new concept including the implementation design and construction of the flag-ship store in central London. The brand is firmly directed at the younger generation and also intended to be more accessible than other Armani labels.
The original concept boasted a 100% illuminated ceiling and both the staircase and shop fronts were stainless steel construction. These both required substantial amounts of off-site construction before being finished in situ. To complement the light palette, floors were a bleached American Oak timber finish to add texture and interest.
Between 2006-2008 FDArchitecture were appointed to implement the new DKNY concept in the UK and Europe. This included 7 UK stores and 8 European stores with an additional 20 SIS concessions.
The concept had been conceived to prompt the popular imagination with all that is typical and iconic about New York City, the yellow cabs, neon lighting, steel, concrete and glass etc.
All shops and concessions were constructed from a modular production-information package of typical details developed by FDA that could be used directly or locally adapted to suit each location.
FDArchitecture acted as the Executive Architects delivering the UK high street stores and the DKNY flagship directly and having commissioned the concessions to be manufactured in Leicester.
Luella had received huge critical acclaim for her avant-garde collections, particularly for her sought after accessories. FDA were pleased to have been appointed for the design and implementation of her concessions and shops here in the UK and abroad and ultimately her flag-ship store in central London.
The flag-ship store was located in a historic building, once home to the composer Handel. This required detailed negotiations with planners to ensure that the Grade II* Listed building was adapted for its new use sensitively and appropriately. Existing mouldings and cladding all had to be retained with new interventions working around these and the juxtaposition of old and new amplified the radical style of the brand.
Significant new areas of material such as the flooring had to specified and finished to engender the sense that it had always been there throughout the life of the building and yet not veer too far from the core brand identity. This was achieved thought the use of reclaimed and carefully selected flooring timbers refinished for the new shop.
GIORGIO ARMANI SHOWROOMS
FDArchitecture was appointed to design and implement GA’s London showroom’s and press offices for sites on Kensington High Street, 22-23 New Bond Street and 189 Brompton Road, London.
All Armani brands are represented in a showroom context and as such, there was no singular established brand identity to follow, but it had to remain clearly identifiable as Armani.
The images here show their former 18,000 sq. ft. Kensington Showrooms, which were the largest of the three showrooms built. Offices for administration and the GA press office are positioned to the perimeter of the main showroom spaces and these required visual and acoustic screening from the showroom to avoid any unwelcome sense of intrusion.
Natural light was borrowed from the perimeter spaces with an extensive use of internal windows and by using glass display shelving hung on 1mm stainless steel Arakawa cables. Semi-translucent woven panels were mounted on ceiling tracks so that they could pass light though yet maintain privacy and help to sub divide these spaces and provide for infinite flexibility.
AX FLAGSHIP STORE
This flag ship store was set within the historic former Dickens and Jones Store on London’s Regent Street and is a Crown Estate property, thereby requiring that the development of the store over 4 floors, including 2 basement levels, was appropriately undertaken and historic features either retained, restored or replicated within the shop.
As with other Armani brands, construction tolerances where minimal, here all the joinery was fabricated in France and most involved polished stainless steel required accurate construction.
The staircase, which rises through the shop floor, is bespoke and unique to this store and uses the same materials and finishes as elsewhere to ensure a seamless look overall.
FDA also collaborated closely with the interactive-design team for the design and implementation of the light walls, which form the principle features of the store. In London one wall rises through the shop levels and is some 9m high.
Situated in London’s New Bond Street, this premium brand store is the embodiment of the Armani reputation for particular precision detailing and elegant solutions.
Joinery was built in Italy, by GA’s trusted fabricators, before being shipped to the UK and built to within a 1.5mm tolerance. The extensive refurbishment works had to be equally exacting in their execution as an aggressive construction programme of 11 weeks was scheduled to coincide with the launch of British Fashion Week in September 2006.
Above the shop were private showrooms and the Press Office was housed on the top floor complete with its own roof terrace for use as a VIP entertainment space.
Large format porcelain floor tiles, dark hardwood joinery and leather fabric wall cladding create the core of the sophisticated pallet synonymous with the designer.
Every ceiling and wall to the Front of House areas was meticulously purged of all fittings and fixtures if they could be possibly concealed. Most of this was carefully hidden within lighting troughs in the ceiling or behind cladding panels so that nothing might distract the customer from the ‘collection’ itself.
Armani Collezioni on New Bond Street was the third project that FDA had acted as the Executive Architect for Giorgio Armani and a relationship that was to extend to several projects.