In Step With Future
A woman’s favourite wardrobe essential – shoes -- when clubbed with an aura of top-notch names automatically tingles her shopping buds. Shoebaloo walks into the frame in the heart of Amsterdam with shoes to splurge on and a look to lure.
The brand Shoebaloo has a history of 38 years, 7 stores and an online presence. It is home to the big names which spell luxury in the world of shoes. The very idea of Shoebaloo is for the customer to go through a journey of discovery where the shoes appear as precious treasures; if you at look the price tags, you’d take it literally! Most Shoebaloo store windows have a mysterious feel and reveal little of what lies behind. For its flagship store in Amsterdam, the brand decided to take a different route and a futuristic approach crept in with the vision of MVSA Architects who designed most of the stores for the brand. The elliptical shape takes the front seat and becomes the core of store identity. An elliptical store window gives a peek into the store. The transparency is backed with glowing white bright light that presents a stark colour contrast between the outside and inside, drawing the focus to the store. For observant onlookers, the two ellipses within the elliptical window further showcase the depth of the store. The play of lines emerging from the store window gives the passers-by a fair view of what holds inside the store, at same time creating a sense of intrigue. This view which beholds the onlookers has high potential of converting them into customers or at least walk-ins. Inside the store, the plan form has two ellipses gravitating towards each other. This concept is visibly brought out with the flooring pattern. White marble with black veins form the ellipses and the space in between is designed as an inverse combination of black marble with white veins. With such a design concept, the three-dimensional view of the store flows with the plan. The walls are presented in contours, clad with layers of pure white Hi-Macs, a solid surface material. Continuing with the play of lines on the walls, the displays are fashioned from thinner layers of translucent Hi-Macs underlit with LEDs. The dark ellipse ceilings feature a pattern of fluid, bright, glowing lines that twist through a starry sky. The walls on the store periphery are strongly defined as display zones, while the entire central space is planned as a movement zone. The material used and the dominance of the bright white coloured interior is clear sign of design clarity as the shoes starkly stand out. Design innovation is always a challenge with small spaces. This 81 sq. m. space exemplifies the retail notion of ‘attract to sell’. Also, today the word ‘futuristic’ is strongly associated with technological advances. One look at this new