Raw concrete pillars and blue panels create a distinctive, stripped back feel to the new Issey Miyake flagship store in London. Designed by the Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka, the store is located in Brook Street, between the city's main shopping thoroughfares of Regent Street and Bond Street. According to Yoshioka it is very difficult to design a retail space because there are numerous standards to comply with, never very much time and specific solutions have to be found for each, individual space.
Yoshioka's design has emptied the first two floors of a 1950s building that previously housed a bank. The walls and pillars have both been left in a raw state and a number of bright, blue aluminium panels have been positioned around the perimeter walls to create a contrast with the existing architectural environment. This feature sets off the clothes perfectly and is a favourite with Yoshiyuki Miyamae, the creative director of the Issey Miyake womenswear line.
In the centre of the space there is a curving staircase with glass balustrades that allow light to enter from the facade overlooking the street. The menswear section is situated on the floor below, where the raw concrete pillars and blue panels continue, but with a darker, more private design.
Yoshioka stated that he is not interested in a concept of "luxury" or "perfect" design, as what he really focuses on creating is something that is distinctive and unexpected. To achieve this, the London store's lighting design has carefully concealed the luminaires, which is why lighting Sistema 53, Laser Blade and Underscore devices have been used. This "Invisible Light" design won the 2015 Retail Week Interior Awards with the judges praising it because: “The best retail lighting works with the store of which it is a part, rather than dominating it, and makes the product better. This store lighting and design led the field in this category with a simple and at times unobtrusive, but effective scheme.”
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