Habitat re-opens an extended and revamped Croydon store this week which aims to break a tradition of “impersonal” out-of-town stores, according to a spokesman.
Design is by London architect Gerard Taylor, who beat Din Associates, Graven Images and Davies Baron in a paid creative pitch.
“Most out-of-town retail spaces don’t have much character, you just park and as far as atmosphere’s concerned you’re abandoned. This is a brand new concept,” says a Habitat spokesman.
Taylor, who is principal of his consultancy, says Habitat “tried to address an out-of-town store with the intelligence of an in-town one. It’s actually a huge shed but a sense of domesticity was required”.
His 3437m2 interior features “light toffee colour” walls for a “soft, feminine feel”. The facade features glass, galvanised metal and timber to “soften” the hard edge of the building.
The Croydon store is a one-off, according to the Habitat spokes- man. “We are looking for interesting architectural sites for future stores, but there are no plans for another out-of-town store,” he says.