Friday 14 Jun 2013
The new Paperchase flagship store in Buchanan Street, Glasgow, which opened at the end of March 2013 is Paperchase's third flagship after Tottenham Court Road and Manchester, also designed by Made In Place (formerly Wingate Design Partnership) which has been working with Paperchase for 18 years and has designed all its stores in the UK and abroad. The brief was to be innovative and offer something that customers had not seen before.
The retail area is 15000 sq ft, with the larger retail space on the first floor. As with all Paperchase flagships, it had to include a high value area, small art book department, a theme room, professional art department and a cafe. It was designed to be a blank canvas, so that the visual merchandising, and in turn the product can shine through - a tricky balancing act in getting the scale right, when much of the Paperchase product is small. Despite the store's size and the variety and volume of product, the shop feels spacious, yet intimate, and there is something interesting at every level and turn. Raw, industrial and almost ‘brutal' materials work alongside beautiful, polished and delicate materials.
Made In Place takes an artisanal approach to its design and experiments with many interesting materials and treatments working with a variety of contractors and crafts people to achieve their goals. Glasgow has many one-offs, from the ‘crumpled paper' plaster wall behind the concrete sales counter/cash desk (the plasterwork was by a contractor who usually works in the Royal Palaces and the concrete counter was made by someone who usually makes kerb stones). Made In Place designed the huge dome light fittings above the stairs and lift cars were stripped back, to reveal the inner workings and clad to be startlingly simple and effective. The lift core, containing all the services including a WC, is designed as if it were a simple concrete shaft, but it is glass and there's an interactive touch screen display where users can design their own wrap, which is then projected onto the lift core.
The shop front resembles the folds of an envelope, (it slopes in and out and then back in again as it rises) and required significant structural input, working with an engineer.