Leanne Amodeo takes us inside RAD Studio’s latest retail project ‘Super Glue’ – a fashion concept store that tells many stories.
May 22nd, 2013
RAD Studio’s Richard Alexander knows that retail today isn’t just about selling stuff. “You have to give the customer an experience,” he says. “And you have to engage with them.” Heeding his own advice the Sydney-based design director has succeeded in creating an instantly appealing fit out for Super Glue.
The newest retail addition to Melbourne’s Highpoint Shopping Centre is an ambitious multi-brand store that sits within a stark 990sqm space. Alexander has masterfully used the cavernous shell to his advantage and his resulting design concept is as functional as it is memorable.
“I like to call it a shop with vignettes,” he explains. “So customers are met with these little ‘stories’ as they walk through it.” Each of these vignettes has its own clearly defined design identity, which differentiates one brand from the next. It’s a clever wayfinding strategy that essentially orders the space into six zones.
Bright colour punctuates each zone and Alexander has been inventive with his material palette. A red shipping container activates an otherwise dead corner of the fit out and shoes are displayed on glass panels that wrap around smart timber storage systems. The middle of the store even boasts a timber-lined blue shipping container that serves as a rustic espresso bar.
These design flourishes inject just the right amount of playfulness into the fit out, but the overall result is far from chaotic. The space has a lightness to it that is reinforced by generous circulation paths and elegant timber-clad columns. It is genuinely inviting and a lot subtler than what one would initially expect.
The lack of a traditional storefront also adds to this sense of lightness. But then again, Alexander didn’t want customers to feel like they were walking into a billboard. “We’re bombarded with so much crap everyday that if you give customers too much information they’ll just switch off,” he says. “But if they get a feel from an interior then they’re instantly engaged.”
Images © Glue Store and RAD Studio
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