The RIBA has revealed the latest in its annual series of architect-designed window dressings for London’s Regent Street
The project, which is now in its sixth year, showcases work by 13 practices including EPR Architects, Coppin Dockray, Citizens Design Bureau, and Conran and Partners.
The architects have teamed up with shops, restaurants and cafés along Regent Street to create architectural installations which will be in place until 27 September.
RIBA London interim director Owen Wainhouse, said: ‘The RIBA Windows project highlights the versatility of RIBA architects and their unique ability to look at space differently. It’s an exclusive and high profile opportunity for the profession’s emerging and more established practices to test new ideas, apply their ingenuity and resourcefulness to different scales and work with space and structures in new and exciting ways.
‘Now in its sixth year, the project on Regent Street has been triumphant in showcasing high quality design and detailing in collaboration with world famous retail brands, and this year has been no exception, with architects exploring new concepts in craft, heritage and scale.’
Karen Millen by Hassell
‘Twisting printed fabric creates a magical wonderland across the entire 30m of Karen Millen’s shop windows. The structure explores drapery and the cut and fall of cloth using key printed fabrics created in the brand’s in-house Atelier and that feature in Karen Millen’s new collection. HASSELL’s design celebrates the brand’s femininity and the very craftsmanship that lies at the heart of the fashion industry.’
Longchamp by LDVC
‘Inspired by the iconic Longchamp bag, Le Pliage Heritage, LDVC has created an elegant floating mobile that engages with the bag’s shape and its elements on various scales, and playfully integrates the product into the installation. The characteristic black handle of the Heritage bag takes on a chandelier form, while the body is formed by a field of stylised Heritage bags in semi-transparent material, layered to create constantly changing transparencies, reflections and visual experiences.’
Armani Exchange by Shiro Studio
‘For its concept for Armani Exchange, Shiro Studio took inspiration from Nobel Prize writer, Luigi Pirandello’s novel titled, One, No One and One Hundred Thousand. The novel explores how reality and self-awareness is often illusory, subjective and becomes the expression of personal interpretations. This led the architect to conceive a pleated, fully-reflective wall. The variety, complexity and multitude of reflections generated is the core narrative. Clothes, people and streetscape blend in one single installation, offering an ever-changing visual experience.’
Hamleys by Office S&M
‘Hamleys Optical Amusements. In celebration of the 255th anniversary of Hamleys toy store, this display holds a series of optical illusions, anamorphic distortions and an Ames room that children can peer into and view through small peepholes. These optical amusements, a main attraction in Victorian travelling circuses, will once again allow children to discover these enchanted worlds, and experience fun and mystery from the past.’
Levi’s by AMD Interior Architecture
‘AMD has created an immersive environment for the flagship London store by extending the window display deep into the shop. This installation is inspired by a flock of birds in flight and takes visitors on a journey through the store using interpretations of jeans, sculpted and suspended from above. The display is punctuated with ‘moments’ that align with Levi’s launch of its Lot 700 women’s denim collection, while the formation of the ‘journey’ jeans evokes a sense of transformation.’
Anthropologie by EPR Architects
‘Anthropologie is dedicated to hand-making and craft, re-cycling and rearranging materials to form captivating displays. Inspired by this approach, EPR Architects with Vertikal Space and the Materials Council have explored the leftover space from ‘scooping out’ bamboo to create a dynamic, engaging installation that references the brand’s seasonal range. The painted tips of the bamboo canes accentuate the form and change depending on whether it is viewed walking past, from a distance or up-close.’
Brooks Brothers by Conran and Partners
‘During a British game of Polo in 1896, Brooks Brothers discovered the button-down collar used to secure players’ collars while on horseback. They then famously introduced the button-down to men’s tailoring and turned it into a fashion icon. This flock of collars captured mid-flight evokes the sentiment of Brooks Brothers’ innovation, with a single gold button-down leading the formation. The collaborative installation is a physical interpretation of their inspiring story.’
Crabtree & Evelyn by London Atelier
‘English botanist, John Evelyn’s motto, ‘Omnia explorate, meliora retinete’ translates as ‘Explore everything, keep the best’. With this in mind, the design captures a memory of the tradition of English Still rooms. Their copper and brass utensils, wooden surfaces, colourful plants, remedies, potions and soaps provided a rich material pallet. The display is a choreographed ensemble of herbs, plants and flowers preserved in panes of soap within a brass grid lit by an LED matrix.’
L’Occitane en Provence by Coppin Dockray Architects
‘L’Occitane en Provence has a strong association with the south of France and its evocative landscapes. A place of bright colours and vivid scents, it is also where the brand’s natural ingredients are sourced. Framing the new skincare product from the Immortelle collection, the installation abstracts this unique environment, using the kaleidoscope as a metaphor. Harnessing the shifting daylight reflected in the shop window, the installation creates an ever-changing landscape.’
Penhaligon’s by Space Group Architects
‘Blasted: A Delusional Illusion. Inspired by the aromas of a Turkish baths, in 1870 William Penhaligon ‘bottled’ his first scent. Here, Space Group Architects has reversed this process to interpret two new fragrances to create immersive, multi-sensory spaces. The installation is an abstracted illusion of the aromas, and the environments that inspired their invention. Designed to be experienced both inside and outside, they blur the boundaries between Regent Street and the store.’
Kiehl’s by Michaelis Boyd Associates
‘The Universe of Kiehl’s is a futuristic vision of the intersection of science and nature, let loose across the Kiehl’s flagship store. Michaelis Boyd Associates has taken inspiration from the apothecary roots, rich heritage and personality of Kiehl’s to interpret its unfolding story. The brand’s passionate and adventurous approach to experiments and discoveries has led to an evocative concept that embodies these ideas with a colourful, eye-catching, eclectic and explosive experience.’
Hotel Café Royal by Citizens Design Bureau
‘Celebrating the 150th anniversary of the legendary Café Royal, vertical festoons of golden letters and edible delights fill the Regent Street window display. Inspired by the opulent colours of the café’s cakes and its history as a place of elegance and luxury, the display alludes to the rich heritage of an establishment that has boasted rock stars, royalty, Bohemian artists, writers, politicians and sports stars among its patrons.’
Hawes & Curtis by Nick Wood, How About Studio and Gillian Lambert
‘Nick Wood (How About Studio) and Gillian Lambert’s highly resourceful window brings the product to the fore, taking inspiration from the contrast between Hawes and Curtis’ formal and casual range. A lenticular wall constructed from garments creates two specific viewpoints on the street, one for each of the distinct looks. Moving along the street will combine these images to provide an ever-changing collage and a visually immersive experience for passers-by.’
The best window will be named at an opening party on Tuesday evening.