In pictures: RIBA London unwraps Regent Street windows
Architect-designed window installations have been revealed on London’s Regent Street
The project, which is now in its fifth year, showcases work by 15 practices including vPPR, Make, Denizen Works and Squire and Partners.
The architects have teamed up with shops, restaurants and cafes along Regent Street to create architectural installations which will be in place until 21 September.
Tamsie Thomson, director of the RIBA London, said: ‘Architects are experts at using space creatively and imaginatively – from huge buildings to the smallest of home extensions. Architects think creatively about getting the most from a space and a budget.
‘Regent Street sees huge footfall with over one million people each week. We’re delighted to be giving such exposure to some of London’s most respected and imaginative architects, while adding a new cultural element to the shopping experience.’
Gant by Sybarite Architects
‘Drawing influence from GANT’s heritage, Sybarite sought to enthuse GANT’s windows with Sybarite’s luxurious philosophy. Initial inspiration was drawn from the hull of a boat which the practice morphed into a sculptural form to showcase an emerging human figure. The architects then harnessed this unique marriage between an architecture practice and lifestyle brand by focusing on sculptural, architectural design far removed from the typical window display.’
Aquascutum by vPPR
‘vPPR Architects have created a spectacular backdrop of moving clouds for the display of Aquascutum’s iconic trench coats. Recalling Turner’s expansive radiant skies, vPPR’s visually striking installation will celebrate Britain’s overcast weather with animated clouds and splashes of autumnal tones, matched to Aquascutum’s latest season’s colours. The installation is achieved through the optical effects of lenticular printing and is strongly dynamic as shoppers pass by in the street, catching their eye.’
Hackett by Jerry Tate Architects
‘Based on a traditional timber and ribbon children’s toy, Jerry Tate Architects are creating a giant moving Jacobs Ladder for Hackett’s two shop windows.
‘Held at one end and woven by an intricate arrangement of interlaced ribbons, the ladder works by rotating the top block- setting off a tumbling effect as each block flips over the next to reveal a hidden image on the reverse side of the ladder. The toppling motion itself creating the visual illusion of a flickering, falling picture.
‘JTA will use this form of moving toy to produce two large cascading pixelated collages, a dancing, glittering image to catch the attention of shoppers as they pass by.’
Hobbs by Donald Insall Associates
‘Donald Insall Associates working in collaboration with Hobbs are creating an installation which responds to both Regent Street’s rich history and modern regeneration.
‘As part of Regent Street’s ongoing regeneration the block will be clad in scaffolding over the Autumn / Winter 2014 fashion season as the historic façade is meticulously cleaned and restored.
‘Donald Insall’s concept demonstrates it’s ‘business as usual’ for Hobbs. The architects have artfully reflected Hobbs’ rich history and British design with a photographic montage recreating Regent Street and Hobbs’ proud history. They have playfully contrasted this by bringing the scaffolding through the windows to invite the shopper inside.’
Brooks Brothers by Squire and Partners
‘Squire and Partners’ installation for Brooks Brothers draws on the historical brand reference of the Golden Fleece as a symbol of world trade, natural raw textile and the company’s trademark since 1850. A crafted sculpture comprised of a thousand handmade sheep suspended on golden threads illustrate the immaculate detailing of a Brooks Brothers product, whilst a cast bronze sheep - created by British sculptor Jonathan Sanders - grazes nearby providing an element of playfulness and interaction.’
Illy by RAW Architecture Workshop
‘“81 Years of Hard Work for 10 Seconds Of Pure Happiness.” Founded in Trieste, Italy in 1933, iIly have passionately and prodigiously invented, developed and refined every single detail from bean to cup in their pursuit of the art of coffee. The installation by Raw Architecture Workshop broadcasts and emphasises the time, energy and effort that has gone into each and every illy espresso.
‘It takes just 10 seconds to produce the perfect espresso. Ten seconds are synonymous with countdowns. Countdowns evoke feelings of interest, anticipation and excitement, culminating in a momentous event. RAW will use scale, movement, colour and light to create a piece of kinetic digital art which marks and celebrates the culmination of 81 years of illy, in 10 seconds.
‘The event at the bottom of the countdown? You’ll have to wait and see……..’
Jack Spade by Mobile Studio
‘Keen to draw inspiration from Jack Spade’s strong and iconic New York heritage, Mobile Studio creates a surreal installation of ‘a city within a city’ for Jack Spade’s store front on Brewer Street.
‘The windows will be transformed into a miniaturised world ‘bridging New York and London’.
‘The fully-interactive departure display will be rich with animated narratives, packed with colourful characters and architectural motifs, jackets, shirts, bags and other brand products, all of which will twist and turn to captivate visitors for a closer look.’
Tibits by Edgley Design
‘Tibits award-winning vegetarian restaurant, located on Heddon Street, employs a ‘pay by the weight’ food concept to encourage self-awareness of consumption and reduce waste. Architecture practice Edgley Design have embraced this spirit by reusing waste products from the restaurant for their installation.
‘Empty glass wine bottles, are creatively re-imagined to form something new and beautiful. Reinforcing tibits weight concept, and the idea of cooking using heat to transform ingredients, the glass bottles are melted and then re-cast in the form of cooking weights, each glass cast representing the weight of an average tibits meal. These glass weights are then suspended on a grid of steel cables to create a shimmering array which animates the shop window, enticing people into the restaurant from the street.’
The glass pieces were designed by Amy Bodiam.
Karen Millen by EKM Works
‘Throughout September all 25 metres of Karen Millen’s Regent Street store façade will be home to EKM Works installation ‘Grace’, inspired by Karen Millen’s Autumn/Winter 14 campaign.
‘Grace brings the Karen Millen woman to life and is an evocative snapshot of the energy and character of the location surrounding Karen Millen’s Shoreditch atelier in London’s East End. 3D scanned mannequins were animated, sliced and projected to generate a feeling of dynamic movement and to mirror the day-to-day adventures of Karen Millen’s modern, urban muse.
‘This perpetual ebb and flow is reflective of the transformative power of Karen Millen’s new-season collection and the sartorial journey it will take you on.’
Longchamp by Brisac Gonzalez
‘Brisac Gonzalez’s display for Longchamp consists of an array of rectilinear translucent frames that create a series of hollows with a fleeting iceberg-like quality. The newly launched Longchamp leather bags in carmine red, tan and dark mauve will reside within three of the largest cocoon-like cavities that gently taper. The surrounding mirrored surfaces refract the exquisite colours and sublime lines of the bags, as well as the many onlookers and passers-by along Regent Street.’
Banana Republic by MAKE Architects
‘Make Architects’ window installation for Banana Republic’s London Flagship store on Regent Street, unifies the brand’s key themes for the Autumn-Winter collection. Through the use of an optical illusion, a dynamic three-dimensional window display is created that engages the passer-by.’
Penhaligon’s by Al-Jawad Pike
‘Al-Jawad Pike’s window installation for Penhaligon’s draws on the rich history of perfume making and its origins in distillation and chemistry. Inspired both by the evocative fragrances and the raw ingredients from which they are extracted, Al-Jawad Pike are creating a labyrinthine construction of blown glassware, held within a three-dimensional lattice of copper pipe.
‘The glass vessels will contain the raw ingredients of Penhaligon’s thirty two fragrances while the copper references the first ambelic retorts and other distillation apparatus that were historically used in perfume making.’
Folli Follie by Denizen Works
‘Folli Follie’s core philosophy is the original design and sale of a fun, versatile, and affordable jewellery luxury collection designed to meet the varied and dynamic needs of trend-conscious women and girls worldwide.
‘Denizen’s installation, titled ‘I see…Folli Follie’, is based on best-selling Folli Follie pieces set in resin as a collection frozen in time and representing the success, both past and future, of the brand.
‘In one window the architects will create an orange resin representing amber (a highly desirable gemstone that often contains hidden treasures deposited by nature) and the best-selling collection. In the other window the architects create display pieces from the new collection set in a ‘crystal’ ball looking into the future.’
L’Occitane by Emulsion
‘The Immortelle from L’Occitane, organically grown in Corsican fields, is known as the everlasting flower; never fading, even after being picked. This flower, full of folklore, is unique for its anti-ageing properties, making its essential oil a very precious elixir.
‘Inspired by the dramatic terrain of Corsica, habitat of the Immortelle flower used by L’Occitane in its premium skincare collections, architecture practice Emulsion have created a landscape of delicate geometric layers glorifying and revealing glimpses of a new Immortelle product, alluding to the flower in its natural environment. The exclusive launch preview coincides with the RIBA project.’
Topshop by ATMOS
‘The crossroads of Regent Street and Oxford Street is one of the busiest and most bustling locations in London. More than 80 million people a year pass through this intersection.
‘Architecture practice Atmos invited this river of humanity to carve a new pattern through the Great Portland stone of Topshop’s building. In their installation, the window plinths melt into molten shapes that ooze and flow into furniture, transforming into long benches that invite the visitor to rest amidst the restlessness.
‘The ranks of seats create a rare central space to host events for London Fashion Week - an invitation to the public that define these streets. The seats form steps which invite the visitor into the window, to mingle with the mannequins and play model for a moment.’