Crosby Studios's Harry Nuriev Designs Avgvst Boutique in Saint Petersburg, Russia

At Avgvst, the jewelry boutique incorporates a coffee bar. Photography courtesy of Crosby Studios.

For 35-year-old architect and furniture designer Harry Nuriev, minimalism is both a state of mind and an aesthetic. After graduating from Moscow Architectural Institute, the Russia native founded Crosby Studios in 2014, the firm name inspired by a trip to downtown Manhattan. Now based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, he uses elemental forms, colors, and materials to reflect contemporary consumer culture in a crisp, almost radical way. “In all my retail projects, I install a seating zone, phone chargers, and a beverage station,” says Nuriev, whose clients include Nike, Cos, and Casetify. “That’s what gives a person the opportunity to completely relax and feel trust in the product, as opposed to old-school shops with their white light, rails, and shelves, where the customer has nothing to do but buy things.” 

Raw concrete, painted wood, and metal are joined by a mirror wall in the main retail space. Photography courtesy of Crosby Studios.

This approach is exemplified at Avgvst, a new jewelry store in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The interior, which has raw-concrete walls, flooring, and ceiling, was inspired by the organic shapes of such modernist icons as Le Corbusier’s Chapelle Notre-Dame du Haut in Ronchamp, France, and Alvar Aalto’s sinuous glass vases. At the core of the 1,400-square-foot space, a meandering, yellow-painted wall made of 10,000 wooden rods connects the reception desk, boutique, and coffee bar in one bold move. It exemplifies
Nuriev’s work developing fresh patterns of consumer interaction. “In my opinion,” he notes, “the desire for hangout places with no pressure to purchase will come to the fore in the post-COVID retail world.”

Seating throughout encourages customers to relax. Photography courtesy of Crosby Studios.
Like all the project’s furniture, this polished stainless-steel counter was custom designed. Photography courtesy of Crosby Studios.
A raw-concrete wall hosts built-in stools and micro shelves. Photography courtesy of Crosby Studios.
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