Interior architect Andre Fu brings the concept of an old-world library into a 25,000 sq ft shoe store.
5 January, 2012
Award-winning interior architect Andre Fu strives to create a sense of journey in each of his projects, and the same can be said for The Shoe Library, his first collaboration with Hong Kong’s Lane Crawford.
It’s a compelling concept where Fu infuses the rigorous architectural proportions of an old-world library into a sprawling shoe store – with a modern twist.
The open-plan layout is in keeping with the spirit of an art gallery, and the customer’s journey into the world of shoes (covering every noteworthy brand and more) is carefully orchestrated by way of bespoke display fixtures, and by subtle changes to material and detail to layer a series of experiences.
Fu also injects a sense of fluidity to better choreograph the customers’ movement within the venue – using distinct features to anchor visual balance, whilst adopting tactile details, natural wood and bronze to refine the overall texture.
The ’Great Room’ – the store’s anchor space – features a 5m-high ceiling, library armoires in bronze, and abstract French panels. Floors are finished in Romano marble and covered with elaborate rugs from the Andre Fu Collection for Tai Ping Carpets.
There are also over 80 bespoke pieces of furniture to be found in The Shoe Library, among them The Salon’s 5m-long table with Alberto Giacometti inspired legs, and hand-embroidered silk wall panels echoing the work of French fashion illustrator Christian Berard.
The mood changes from zone to zone, with the Contemporary space delineated by a striking pleated backdrop shaped like a pair of wings.
“The overall experience is designed to evoke the concept of a journey,” says Fu. “The main challenge was creating a number of visual enclaves that can adapt to seasonal product changes.”
The Market Place, with its interchangeable dark wood room dividers and massive glass cabinets, provides for this seasonal play.
Meanwhile, The Blitz zone is dedicated to periodical international collaborations.
The final stop in a journey of shoes is the Library Café, which offers fashion-inspired pastries under a stunning lighting installation made up of 200 traditional tungsten bulbs.
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