Kinnersley Kent has taken the wraps off its latest refurbishment project for department store owner House of Fraser.
The interiors specialist was responsible for the revamp of House of Fraser’s Rackhams store in Birmingham. The store, which has been completely refurbished at a cost of £30m, will re-open next week and become Birmingham’s largest retail outlet.
Kinnersley Kent has a five-year relationship with House of Fraser, having completed the refurbishment of its Guildford and Oxford Street stores. The Birmingham project was its biggest yet and involved a complete overhaul of the 40-year-old building.
‘We wanted to make it a statement store,’ says a House of Fraser spokeswoman. ‘Birmingham is fast becoming one of the UK’s major retail destinations and we want to be there when it takes off.’
The 3ha Rackhams store will span eight floors. According to Kinnersley Kent senior designer Amyas Wade, the refurbishment involves major changes aimed at creating a more contemporary and open environment in which to showcase brands.
‘We’ve opted for a stronger branding of different ranges and a greater distinction between products across floors,’ explains Wade.
Among the more visible changes, the store’s circulation has been radically overhauled, with the escalator well being opened up over the eight floors. According to Kinnersley Kent, the ‘sleeker, grander structure’ forms a heart to the building, improving vertical circulation and visibility to all floors.
The 18-month project was led by Kinnersley Kent partner Glenn Kinnersley.
Kinnersley Kent is now working on the interiors for a 4181m2 , five-floor House of Fraser store in the City of London, due to open late next year. It is also likely to be involved in the design of planned openings in Belfast and Dublin.