A worldwide programme to create cutting edge architecture for the exteriors of H&M’s flagship stores
We were approached by H&M to turn their buildings into eye-catching, destination stores that would communicate the global and progressive direction of their brand.
To distinguish the brand in the international retail landscape, we conceived a unique architectural identity that would give the international flagship stores presence in a highly aesthetic and design-conscious market. After launching in Asia, the design proved so successful that it was established as H&M’s global identity and applied to flagship stores worldwide.
For the basis of both the exterior façades and interiors, we developed a rigid geometric pattern that, although seemingly random and unstructured, can be repeated in numerous combinations and translated into various materials and mediums. The sculptural relief creates an effect that softens the hard, dominant lines of the existing building structure, and the façade comes alive at night when concealed illumination turns the store into a dramatically lit beacon.
Our understanding of scale, structure and form enabled the design to be applied to any store around the world, maintaining brand consistency, whilst offering the versatility to accentuate the individual identity of each site.
For the interiors, we also included a dramatic concept staircase made from white glass and lined with vertical louvres (shutters with horizontal slats). Adopting the same lighting and contrast techniques as the façade, we created a dynamic environment that engages customers to guide them through the store.
A good example of the design is the striking, three-dimensional façade of the Sunset Boulevard store in LA constructed from folded aluminum panels with a painted finish. Small and large-scale perforations produce tonal contrast and visual depth to the panels, which allow light to radiate from the building at night, making the form visible 24-hours a day.