Habitat is to open a store on London’s Regent Street next month, with interiors by creative director Tom Dixon, his first interior designs for the retailer.
The opening comes at a time of increasing competition in the lucrative UK home furnishings market, with Spanish fashion chain Zara announcing last week that it is to open its first dedicated home furnishings store in the UK later this year, also on Regent Street.
The 1400m2 Habitat store will be based in a Grade II-listed building at the south end of Regent Street. The building, previously empty and derelict, was formerly an opulent, early 20th century picture house, seating up to 800 people.
‘Given the extraordinary shape of the building and its intricate mouldings and lights from the turn of the century, the idea is to do as little as possible to the interior,’ Dixon explains.
But, he adds, he is also ‘deliberately not matching the architecture’ and has introduced a ‘dynamic and industrial’ racking system to act as a counterpoint to ornate details, a ‘non-colour’ palette of broken white walls and a grey resin screed on the floors.
Architectural and historical features of the building, including the auditorium and restored Wurlitzer Theatre Organ, have been retained.