When it was ready to open its first retail shop, Brazil’s Ellus approached Estudio Guta Requena and Tatiana Sakurai to develop a concept that expresses the company’s look while being adaptable to future shops to be rolled out.
Requena and Sakurai’s first goal was to define the enduring “DNA” of Ellus, founded in 1972, using concepts that could express the luxury brand’s attitude as an interior space. The resulting notions – cosmopolitan, fetish, nightlife, sexy, interactive and flexible – shaped the team’s vision through the design phase.
The shop was going to be situated in the Morumbi shopping mall, so the team only had 50 square metres to work with. They chose to employ a single spatial concept, then tie the interior together using a limited palette of materials and a visual motif carried out across different scales.
Based on their experimentation with models, the team chose to extend the walls in “steps,” creating seating and shelving along both sides of the retail space based on 40-centimetre increments. These horizontal bands achieve an extruded look that enhances the sense of depth, and creates a natural runway ideal for showing off the brand’s belts, shoes and bags.
The space was then lined with a palette of materials that spoke to the concepts’ upscale nightclub aesthetic; bronzed mirror lines the walls and shelf fronts, textured black stone caps the shelves’ outward-facing ends, and the golden metal plate used to create display modules matches an oversized gold-tinted disco ball hanging overhead.
The ceiling is lined with an off-the-shelf acoustic foam, typically used in soundproofing and exploited here not only for its noise-dampening qualities, but also its unique pattern of three-by-three crosshatched lines. This crosshatch pattern is repeated in the white Carrara marble that tiles the floor, as well as the perforated pattern on the display detailing.
As a final high-tech touch, two screens embedded in one wall are used to display on-brand imagery. When a customer picks up an item from the shelves, the screens will automatically begin to show video offering additional information about the product.