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Global architecture and design firm, Gensler, has unveiled the new technology department at London’s most famous luxury department store, Harrods.
Designed to awaken the senses, the 3,000 sq m space provides visitors with a truly immersive and personalised shopping experience that brings together the very best in innovation and technology.
Gensler has created a dramatic space with a real sense of expectation, which customers will experience from the moment they arrive. In the main shopping area, the floor has been divided into five distinctive experience-rich zones, connected by a central route that has been re-imagined as a catwalk for better product display and improved wayfinding. Alongside the catwalk, an elegantly designed shop window, with ceiling mounted and screening furniture, showcases the new and exclusive.
Service and experience were at the forefront of Gensler’s design strategy. Stepping off the catwalk and into the rooms, the pace dramatically softens for a more intimate and personalised shopping experience. From viewing auditoriums, gaming demonstrations and headphone forests, through to a masterclass space, Gensler has used its expertise in retail design to develop a shopping experience that will both excite and entice the customer.
The palette of materials used throughout helps create a warm and exclusive atmosphere reminiscent of Harrods’ heritage, with a contemporary and intimate finish. The 1930s-inspired geometric floor pattern on the catwalk is echoed by a suspended illuminated ceiling, for a bright and airy finish. The suspended ceiling also helps to create a sense of space and height in the Grade II listed building. In contrast, the dark timber and brass used in the rooms, alongside the carefully celebrated lighting and soft panel walls, were all selected to create a calming and intimate atmosphere.
However, Gensler hasn’t just designed a beautiful space here. The retail team also ensured that the design would stand the test of time, and installed modular walls and mid-floor fixtures throughout, allowing brands to personalise their space – all in keeping with Harrods’ identity.
Lara Marrero, Principal and Global Retail Practice Leader at Gensler, comments: ‘This has been a real team effort and we’re proud to have delivered a truly unique immersive retail experience for Harrods. Throughout, we’ve played a game of contrasts to further blur the line between fashion and technology; the 1930s-inspired floor beautifully contrasts with the contemporary finish of the minimalist ceiling, whilst the marble and terrazzo used throughout create a sense of grandeur that plays against the intimate feel of the private viewing and listening rooms for a personalised shopping experience.’
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