In this retail project, lighting design has been used to great effect to focus attention on what matters to the consumer – the product. Jamie Mitchell reports
Lighting design: Speirs + Major
Tucked away in a quiet street in Mayfair, Hedonism Wines is an oenophile’s delight – a shop where, as long as you have the money, some of the world’s finest wines can be yours. Wine enthusiasts are drawn like moths to a flame by some 3,500 fine wines and spirits, which are made to look even more enticing under Speirs + Major’s mesmerising and award-winning lighting scheme.
Inside, LED lighting is expertly layered with accent, display and ambient lighting designed to make the wine bottles sparkle; on the ground floor, glass pendant lights chosen to evoke champagne bubbles draw the eye away from accent lighting fixtures that are focused towards certain display counters.
The red wines on the lower-ground floor are mostly lit with low-hung copper pendants, concentrating attention around the central display units and enhancing the cellar-like atmosphere. The sources of accent lighting and perimeter shelf lighting are carefully designed to be imperceptible, so that customer isn’t distracted from the main even – the wine itself.
To draw attention to the central staircase that connects the two floors, Speirs + Major designed a bespoke lighting installation made of upended wine glasses mounted at varying heights from the ceiling. The designers say the form of the sculpture was inspired by contour lines of a vineyard. Individual LEDs illuminate each glass.
The most unusual element of this project though is what happens after the shop closes in the evening. Instead of leaving the shop lights blazing or plunging the boutique into darkness, Speirs + Major and the client decided to create an animated ‘living light’ effect, using video projections that can be altered and updated to create different moods with images, including running water and bats in flight, playing across the walls and display surfaces of the store.
‘At the early stage of the project, an analysis of the store’s location and orientation showed a high volume of passers-by in cars and on foot during the hours after the store is closed,’ says Speirs + Major. ‘By night, the storefront needed to have enough impact that it would engage curiosity and promote return visits during opening hours.’
The content is adaptable for seasons and events, offering the client the possibility to refresh its after-dark identity, considered essential given the store’s close proximity to fashion brands that are well versed in updating displays.
This article was first published in fx Magazine.