There's never a dull moment in retail design. From pixelated wall shelving based on the human eye to "rolling stone" display cases and faceted surfaces resembling cut gems, here are seven retail design projects attracting shoppers with an appetite for innovation.
1. Firm: Janson Goldstein
Project: Holt Renfrew
Standout: The facade and asymmetrical entry of this luxury department store is distinguished by glass panels overlapping to create a ribbon-like effect. Inside, all furnishings and fixtures are custom, with detailing including white-oak ceilings in the men's department and walnut stained veneer.
2. Firm: HEIKAUS Concept
Project: Optometrie Cagnolati
Location: Duisburg, Germany
Standout: A dramatic pixelated wall in shades of blue-and-gray lacquered MDF functions as an eyeglass showcase in the 2,200-square-foot sales, consulting, and reception area of this optometry office. Pristine white custom furniture, walls, and cabinetry ensure the pixelated wall—which references the color pigments of a human eye—takes center stage. Oak veneer accents the ceiling and walls of the consulting area, where chairs by Charles and Ray Eames pull up to custom oak tables.
3. Firm: GUIV Arquitetura
Project: Boutique Las Chicas
Location: Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Standout: Inspired by gemstones, the matte fuchsia-lacquered wall panels in this women's clothing and accessories boutique encourage shoppers to take a non-linear path through the 1,400-square-foot space. Composed of triangular MDF polygons, the faceted wall panels conceal two dressing rooms, while the the form of the cashier's desk embraces the same abstract language.
4. Firm: LAB5 Architects
Project: Spar supermarket
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Standout: Oak panels form a sleek suspended ceiling resembling the underside of a wooden boat and flow down to touch the ground at the 22,000-square-foot flagship of supermarket chain Spar, positioned on the ground level of shopping complex MOM Park. Furniture is carved from sleek white solid surfacing, which is both easy to clean and complementary to the flowing lines of the oak detailing. Accent lighting includes lamps made from recycled wine bottles in the wine section and plastic pendant fixtures in the dairy aisle.
5. Firm: INNOCAD Architektur
Project: Graz Tourismus information center
Location: Graz, Austria
Standout: In the former cannon room of Landeszeughaus, Graz's historical armory built in 1644, four lacquered MDF "stones" roll through the 3,600-square-foot gift shop. Actually CNC-milled display cases for museum information and merchandise, the rolling stones reference the city's ancient cobblestones.
Project: Yael Sonia showroom
Location: New York, New York
Standout: Wood accents, a gold-leaf plaster wall, and a custom chandelier combine to make this 2,000-square-foot SoHo loft more residential apartment than jewelry showroom. With a few notable exceptions such as a sofa by Holly Hunt and an oval meeting table by Egg Collective, all furnishings are custom—just like the handmade jewelry on display. Sonia specifically requested the dark-stained oak floors. Laid over concrete, they help create a relaxed setting for clients browsing eight oak-and-glass display cases.
Project: Alexander Wang
Standout: Recessed LEDs on the black marble facade call attention to this 5,000-square-foot, three-level flagship—necessary since the store sits at the far end of a street in Aoyama, Tokyo's entertainment and shopping district. Inside, marble walls and pedestals, area rugs in wool and silk, and mostly custom furnishings create a white backdrop and black accent frame for collections.