M Wordwide wins retail brief for Roman baths

M Worldwide has won a £12 000 contract to redesign the retail outlet at the Roman baths complex in Bath, which is currently undergoing a £5m redevelopment by Event Communications.

Bath & North East Somerset Council appointed M Worldwide last month, after inviting the group to compete in a three-way creative pitch. The previous revamp of the store was by Tilney Shane in 2001.

‘The shop features a Roman wall, which means we have to design very sensitively,’ says M Worldwide joint managing director David Martin.

A Roman drain carries hot water away from the baths under the shop floor, creating added features and problems in the 20m2 space.

The council’s commercial manager for the baths, Patricia Dunlop, says, ‘Making the shop a pleasant environment will be a challenge.’

Event Communications plans to set a sheet of glass over the drain to allow visitors to see and walk over it, while M Worldwide will glaze in the Roman wall and install LED lighting to showcase it.

‘We were briefed to employ a “lightness of touch” in our designs, and it is true that all the water there gives the baths an ethereal quality,’ says Martin. ‘We are trying to avoid getting too Roman-themey.’

The shop will feature a zinc counter, oiled oak fixtures and a porcelain-tiled floor. Its planned secondary role as a backdrop for corporate evening functions is prompting the inclusion of lighting designed specifically for this purpose.

Event Communications began its five-year contract last year, and will spend £1m a year revamping the baths and re th – inking the visitor journey. The shop will open in February.

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