The monolithic concrete forms associated with brutalist architecture inspired the interiors of Axel Arigato‘s Copenhagen flagship store, which the shoe brand has designed in collaboration with Christian Halleröd.
Located a stone’s throw from Copenhagen’s main shopping street, Strøget, Axel Arigato‘s Danish flagship features blocky grey interiors that “blend brutalism with minimalism”.
“I approach our store formats as I design sneakers – the shape of the object comes first, the material is secondary,” explained the brand’s co-founder, Max Svardh.
Svardh developed the aesthetic of the store with Stockholm-based architect Christian Halleröd.
The two have previously worked together on the design of Axel Arigato’s London flagship, where shoes are presented on giant slabs of terrazzo, and its Stockholm branch, which boasts yellow-tinted windows and furry seats.
The latest Copenhagen store spans 270 square-metres and is the brand’s largest retail space to date, accommodating its full collection of men’s and women’s shoes, accessories and ready-to-wear pieces.
At its centre is a huge staircase crafted from raw concrete, comprised of several blocks of steps which are staggered at different heights. As well as connecting customers to the second floor, it will serve as a space for the brand to display artworks or merchandise.
“We wanted this staircase to be considered as the sole sculptural object within the space, perfectly balancing beauty and physics,” explained the brand.
The side of the staircase has been punctuated with a tall doorway, granting customers access to a small internal room where shoes are displayed on backlit shelves.
Surrounding surfaces are also covered with raw concrete, rendering the entire store a pale shade of grey. This is offset by a series of globular jesmonite display plinths that are coated in acid-green or bright blue glossy lacquer.
Other than expansive mirrored panels that lean up against the store’s walls, decoration has been restricted to a metallic sculpture by Brazilian artist Kiri-Una Brito Meumann.
Named #SilverDerriere, it features a bum-shaped mould in which visitors are encouraged to sit.
“[The sculpture] is inspired by the culture of consumerism, using the interest in how something can be sold through the aesthetic of the female form and the access of it through the internet and phones,” added the brand.
This isn’t the only retail space that takes cues from brutalism – last year Studio Goss completed Melbourne’s Kloke store with coarse concrete surfaces and chunky volumes distending from its ceiling.
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