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A beau­ti­ful new store for Si­mon James

HOME Magazine NZ - - Contents - Pho­tog­ra­phy Si­mon Wil­son

“We’d been look­ing at this build­ing for a lit­tle while,” says de­signer and re­tailer Si­mon James, of the mod­est brick build­ing on a cor­ner in the back­streets of New­mar­ket, Auck­land, where he re­cently opened a new store. “It’s a great lo­ca­tion, but it felt quite en­closed.” On Kent Street, next to Ae­sop and part of a gag­gle of busi­nesses down a cob­bled laneway, the area has changed rad­i­cally in re­cent years as panel beat­ers and fur­ni­ture re­stor­ers have been re­placed by bou­tiques. James called in Cheshire Ar­chi­tects and in­te­rior ar­chi­tect Ru­fus Knight to re­work the build­ing. Cheshire’s de­sign called for new, big­ger win­dows – in­clud­ing one large square that pops up and out, draw­ing light in­side – and de­mol­ished a rab­bit war­ren of small stock rooms, cre­at­ing one large, airy space un­der a lofty ceil­ing. Knight, mean­while, spec­i­fied a neutral, pale-grey pal­ette and nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als in­clud­ing an oak floor and Am­bertec plas­ter ceil­ing: the whole thing is peace­ful and calm, with­out be­ing bland. The store re­volves around one long bar down the mid­dle of the store, topped with a tex­tured, matte slab of mar­ble and draw­ers con­ceal­ing stock and point-of­sale equip­ment. “We started with this idea of a kitchen bench,” says James of the move. “We treat ev­ery­one com­ing in here like they’re com­ing into our home.” Si­mon James Concept Store 2 Kent St, New­mar­ket, Auck­land si­mon­james­de­sign.com

Top Cheshire Ar­chi­tects and in­te­rior ar­chi­tect Ru­fus Knight trans­formed the for­merly en­closed space.

Above The new store is home to fur­nish­ings, home­wares and cloth­ing.

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