This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features leading fit-out specialist, Portview, after completing the retail design for the biggest Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics store in the world, situated in the heart of Liverpool. Opened on Friday 15th March 2019, Lush Liverpool opened its doors after a nine-month transformation into the biggest Lush in the world. Five times bigger than the previous store and spread over three customer-facing floors, the new Lush Liverpool boasts 1,380 sq m of retail space that’s big enough to fit over 9 million of its famous bath bombs. The characterful scheme created by Lush’s in-house Design team with international architecture firm, Hyphen, was executed by Portview with an emphasis on enhancing the building’s original features to achieve a look inspired by the character of traditional departments stores and be both sustainable and synonymous with the cosmetic brand.
Sector: Retail Design
Company: Portview Fit-Out
Project: Lush Liverpool
Project Location: Liverpool, United Kingdom
What was the client’s brief?
The brief was to marry the old with the new by creating a space that was reminiscent of a traditional department store, whilst incorporating new materials and services that have never been seen before in a retail setting.
There was a huge focus on using sustainable materials such as reclaimed FSC certified timbers, brick, and cradle to cradle silver tiles to keep our carbon footprint down to a minimum. We also introduced cherry wood style panelling to give the space a sense of warmth and sophistication, with the fresh, citrus colours of the 300 new products on display giving it a modern twist. The carefully crafted, contrasting textures of new and old furnishings help to add visual weight to the space and create an overall feeling of wholesomeness.
The goal was to create a destination store that brings more innovation and creative personal experiences than ever before to the high street.
What inspired the interior design of the project?
The design was inspired by a photograph of an old section of a department store, similar to that of Lush’s building in Church Alley.
We worked closely with Lush’s in-house design team and international architecture firm, Hyphen, to execute a characterful scheme that enhanced the building’s original features by playing on the character and charm of traditional department stores, whilst staying true to Lush’s strong environmental ethos.
What was the toughest hurdle your team overcame during the project?
Paradoxically, when working with old, historic buildings you will always be faced with new challenges. In this case, we had to install two new lifts, refurbish the existing 1920s-style staircase and replace the whole of the ground floor level façade – all within a tight programme. The central stairway was added late in the project and was our most challenging task, involving an oak over-clad of the existing old stone, with relining of the open string and soffit, along with a new steel balustrade complete with curved cherry timber handrails. The stairwell also required secondary fire glazing of the existing windows, with bespoke moulded architrave details scribed from original profiles on site. The whole stairwell needed to be lined and fitted with period doors and cherry wall panelling to the lower level.
Overall, there was a huge amount of construction before the fit-out could even commence, including the manufacturing of columns clad in Portland stone to enhance the 60m long, anodised bronze shopfront. This required very detailed surveys of the existing stripped façade to allow us to draw and schedule with complete accuracy the Portland stone, granite, structural steel and shopfront glazing system, so all could be produced in parallel and fit together without a hitch.
Another challenge was executing the design of all the individual service areas – such as the spa, hair lab, florist, perfumery and shop floor – under the one roof, without it looking disjointed or disturbing the natural flow of the overall space. The design was continuously evolving with various teams working on each area, so a holistic approach to communication and client engagement was absolutely key in ensuring everything came together in a cohesive and collaborative way.
What was your team’s highlight of the project?
We worked in close collaboration with both the client team and Hyphen to ensure that Lush’s high environmental standards were upheld at each stage of the process, from the sustainable design choices through to the responsible sourcing, restoring and repurposing of recycled materials to help reduce our environmental impact and this has been both hugely rewarding and enlightening.
This has been one of our most iconic retail projects to date and it’s a proud moment for us to see it come to life.
Questions answered by Simon Campbell, Managing Director of Portview Fit-Out
If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring the archetypal ideal of the perfect ‘dream home’ exuding an air of period decadence and prosperity, click here to see more.
We hope you feel inspired by this week’s retail design! Let us know what inspired you #SBIDinspire
This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features the flagship store for retail brand, The Fold. British womenswear label The Fold asked Kinnersley Kent Design to create its first ever flagship store. Based on the idea of a private members’ club, the stylish, hardworking concept turns the traditional idea of the store on its head. Like The Fold’s clothes, the flagship is designed to take the customer from 9am to 9pm. By day, it acts as a showroom, store and VIP consultation space. By night, it transforms into an events venue, hosting The Fold’s regular networking events for its diverse customer base of professional women.
Company: Kinnersley Kent Design
Project: The Fold
Project Location: London, United Kingdom
Kinnersley Kent Design were approached by Founder and CEO of The Fold, Polly McMaster, to design a first flagship retail store who could translate the company’s aesthetic and brand ethos into a physical space. Housed in a beautiful Grade II listed building the design needed to be respectful and relevant to the building’s historic features, enhancing rather than competing with them. Initially sold online only the flagship marked a key milestone for the brand and it was important to introduce a new customer to the brand whilst catering to the existing Fold Woman.
We believe that retail is no longer about creating something static. It is about designing flexible spaces that change throughout the day, and that grow and evolve with a brand. The concept we designed for The Fold was based on the idea of a members’ club, turning the idea of a traditional ‘store’ on its head. From the outset, the flagship needed to be dual functional – serving as a relaxed shopping space by day and transforming into an events space in the evening where the brand can hold networking or press events. In essence, the flagship store we designed does what the clothes do – takes the customer from 9am to 9pm.
We also chose materials that reflect the brand’s attention to detail and its tailored, quality fabrics. The interiors palette is graphic and quite masculine, with a monochromatic base that reflects The Fold’s work wear roots, juxtaposed with an eclectic and slightly unexpected tactile mix of materials. The herringbone pattern flooring is reminiscent of heritage fabrics, while brass highlights add a glamorous touch that’s suggestive of clothing details such as brass zips and fastenings.
It is never a straightforward process when designing in listed buildings due to the restrictions imposed, however at the same time we were also very conscious of allowing the beautiful historic features shine through in our scheme. This, paired with the fact that we wanted the space to be multi-functional and serve as a meeting and event space as well as a retail store, led us to design a concept with modular fittings and fixtures. By day, the central bar, equipped with oversized iPads and power sockets, provides clients with a comfortable space to catch up on emails, or simply grab a water or coffee. Come evening, the bar can be transformed to hold drinks and canapés during The Fold’s networking events.
From the outset, our strategy was to create an ownable three-dimensional design language and philosophy – one that can be articulated differently to suit the architecture of individual buildings, locations, and market nuances as the brand evolves and grows.
The Fold flagship was a fantastic project for us to work on as it was a true collaboration between our team and the client. The highlight, however, has been the wonderful feedback we’ve received from Polly and her customers as they have gone on to enjoy the space. Multiple networking events have been hosted since the launch (on International Women’s Day 8th March 2018) and, proving that the flagship is more than just a showroom, sales doubled in the first two full months of trading.
Why did you enter the SBID International Design Awards?
The SBID Awards are understood to celebrate some of the best international work in our industry and it is an honour for us at Kinnersley Kent Design to be recognised amongst the industry leaders who inspire us.
Questions answered by Jill Higgins, Partner of Kinnersley Kent Design
If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring the refurbishment of a historic hotel to enhance the unique character of the building, click here to see more.
We hope you feel inspired! Let us know what inspired you #SBIDinspire
Kinnersley Kent Design | SBID International Design Awards 2018
Find out more about our flexible membership structure.
SBID will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:
You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at [email protected] We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.
We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.
By subscribing, you agree to be added to SBID’s mailing list. As the industry’s standard bearer organisation, we strive to bring you the most up to date news and access to exclusive industry content through our various newsletters.