United visions of retail

Monday 23 Aug 2010

It's all colours and simplicity at the Circus…

What happens when you confront a free-thinking iconic Italian architect with a tight brief locked down by a highly focused global retailer? “Strong compromises of course,” Piero Lissoni returns a wry smile together with a quick glance at the client’s representative, “a lot of coffee was involved…” But in an exclusive interview with WAN on the day of the opening, Lissoni was confident that he had delivered the client’s vision: “We wanted a clean and refined design using simple mediums: natural light, plain materials, clean lines and shapes, black, white.”

The ambitious transformation which was planned in great detail in the architect’s Milan studio saw the protected 19th Century structure first gutted and refurbished and then extensively re-fitted. The work onsite at London’s top retail location on Oxford Circus was undertaken in just three weeks.

Lissoni has been brought in by the Italian clothing giant to re-think the use of contemporary retail space in a ‘creative odyssey’ through style and modernity. The company plans to roll out a series of stores under this initiative launched in Istanbul last year; London is his second and will soon be followed by with further store openings in significant buildings in major European cities, from Frankfurt to Milan and Paris, each with their own take on the local culture.

The full interview with Piero Lissoni will be featured on WAN’s new Interiors and Design site in September.

Michael Hammond
Editor in Chief

Key Facts:

Commercial Retail
United Kingdom

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