JHP will go on-site next week to implement its designs for a 300m2 flagship store for furniture retailer Sofas and Sofa Beds, which is due to open in mid-September on London’s Kings Road.
Sofas and Sofa Beds has two shops in London already, with the Tottenham Court Road outlet selling around 80 per cent UK-designed furniture and 20 per cent imported from Italy.
The objective of the new store is to raise the retailer’s profile with both design-conscious consumers and Italian brand owners looking for potential stockists, according to Sofas and Sofa Beds director John Ash.
‘We wanted something that was visually stunning and that would lift the furniture showroom to a really new level,’ he comments.
But the challenge of the brief, worth a five-figure fee to the consultancy, has been to tackle the peculiarities of the space. JHP was faced with a double-level basement that would restrict customer circulation and result in a ‘dingy’ working environment for staff, says Ash.
‘It was a very difficult site,’ says JHP director Raj Wilkinson. ‘Our solution was to remove a large section of the floor to allow all three levels to be visible from the street and natural light to flood in, creating a concept that would ensure customers could explore the entire volume of the store.’
A 17m-long, underlit blue glass bridge links the ground and mezzanine levels to the basement and ‘acts as a pivotal movement statement’, according to Wilkinson.
The look and feel of the store juxtaposes hard and soft, he says. Clean-edged architecture forms a contrast with a 16m by 6m padded-leather wall intended to denote ‘luxury and upholstery’.
The consultancy won the work without a pitch in March.