French architect Christophe Carpente drew inspiration from the work of Sir John Soane and Piet Mondrian for his latest retail project – the design of Dunhill’s new Tokyo boutique.
Carpente wanted to convey Dunhill as a luxury brand with a contemporary attitude. Carpente created a vibrant red interior combined with a bamboo wood on the sales floor and leather floor tiles in the bespoke area. Into this, he introduced mobile units to give maximum flexibility of display, as opposed to the usual built-in architecture of many luxury retailers.
The floorplan, says Carpente, is an ‘open labyrinth’ inspired by Mondrian’s 1917 painting ‘Composition with colours A and B’, with free-standing units on castors stacked and grouped in merchandising themes. For these units, Carpente drew reference from the modern shapes and luxurious materials used by designers of the 1940s such as Jean ProuvÃ© and Charlotte Perriand. Furniture is topped with dark brown leather with white stitching details and display cases have an antique brass finish and waxed, silver marmorino side panels. Another inspiration is vintage car design. Carpente used a typical car threshold plate with an engraved Dunhill logo at the entrance door and a bumper profile is used for furniture and the hanging bars in the changing rooms.
The more private bespoke area is given particular attention. The dark leather flooring is combined with red leather-topped tables and chairs and fabric covered sofas. Christian Liaigre-designed armchairs in grained brown leather and free-standing lamps complete the area, which has a club-type atmosphere.
Carpente, whose practice CAPS is based in Zurich, completed Dunhill’s London flagship store this summer and has also designed outlets for Hugo Boss, Bally and Christian Lacroix.