Universal Design Studio pop-up shop, London and Berlin

  • The Berlin shop is designed for flexibility, enabling the space to be rearranged at will. The sculptures by Sarah Illenberger play with the Fruit of the Loom brand. Photo Credit: UDS / Berlin Store: Ragnar Schmuck / London Store: Michael Bodiam.

  • http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9197/images/270093/large/Berlin-Shop.jpg$,

  • The Berlin shop is designed for flexibility, enabling the space to be rearranged at will. The sculptures by Sarah Illenberger play with the Fruit of the Loom brand. Photo Credit: UDS / Berlin Store: Ragnar Schmuck / London Store: Michael Bodiam.

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  • The Berlin shop is designed for flexibility, enabling the space to be rearranged at will. The sculptures by Sarah Illenberger play with the Fruit of the Loom brand. Photo Credit: UDS / Berlin Store: Ragnar Schmuck / London Store: Michael Bodiam.

  • http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9197/images/270093/large/Berlin-Shop.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9197/images/270094/large/Berlin-Shop1.jpg$,/uploads/Project/9197/images/270095/large/berlin-shop22102.jpg$,

  • London store: Fruit of the Loom and Seek No Further branding

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  • London store: mirror-clad back wall creates an illusion of double depth

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  • London store: Handmade sculptures by Gary Card

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  • London store:Handmade sculptures by Gary Card

  • http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9197/images/270093/large/Berlin-Shop.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9197/images/270094/large/Berlin-Shop1.jpg$,/uploads/Project/9197/images/270095/large/berlin-shop22102.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9197/images/270096/large/London-Shop2.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9197/images/270097/large/London-Shop1.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9197/images/270098/large/London-Shop4.jpg$,http://www.designcurial.com/Uploads/Project/9197/images/270099/large/London-Shop3.jpg$,

Simplicity and fun define the two temporary spaces created by UDS to launch Fruit of the Loom’s comeback fashion collection.

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Client: Fruit of the Loom / Seek No Further

Architect: Universal Design Studio

Duration: Berlin 12 weeks, London seven weeks

Size: Berlin 60 sq m, London 21 sq m


Words by Emily Martin

Fruit of the Loom is a brand unfamiliar to some and a distant memory for others. Those who do remember are most likely casting their minds back to the Eighties as the last known decade of owning a Fruit of the Loom T-shirt.

Nevertheless, the company, having operated as a trademarked brand for nearly 150 years, decided to re-examine the garment's long-established heritage with a view to transforming it to suit today's contemporary tastes.

The Berlin shop is designed for flexibility, enabling the space to be rearranged at will. The sculptures by Sarah Illenberger play with the Fruit of the Loom brand. Photo Credit: UDS / Berlin Store: Ragnar Schmuck / London Store: Michael Bodiam
The Berlin shop is designed for flexibility, enabling the space to be rearranged at will. The sculptures by Sarah Illenberger play with the Fruit of the Loom brand. Photo Credit: UDS / Berlin Store: Ragnar Schmuck.

Part of the brand transformation included a sleek new identity. In March Fruit of the Loom launched its Seek No Further label in two distinctively designed pop-up shops, occupying gallery spaces in Berlin's Mitte district and Shoreditch in London. Both stores will be open for a four-month period as part of the American brand's comeback, which aims to marry Fruit of the Loom craftsmanship and fabric expertise with 'a contemporary design ethos'.

The two pop-ups were conceived by Universal Design Studio (UDS), the architecture and exhibition company founded by British design duo Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby. They are designed to reflect the brand's innovative approach to materials and detail, underlining the key message of simplicity.

'UDS has been working alongside the Fruit of the Loom team and its branding consultants after winning a creative pitch that included various design proposals for a new fashion label,' says Jason Holley, UDS director. 'It has been exciting for our team to take part in its creation and to work alongside the fashion designers, artists and photographers to jointly define Seek No Further. There was a real synergy between the different creatives involved in the project, and the interior design felt like an organic part of this process.'

The Berlin shop is designed for flexibility, enabling the space to be rearranged at will. The sculptures by Sarah Illenberger play with the Fruit of the Loom brand. Photo Credit: UDS / Berlin Store: Ragnar Schmuck .
The Berlin shop is designed for flexibility, enabling the space to be rearranged at will. The sculptures by Sarah Illenberger play with the Fruit of the Loom brand. Photo Credit: UDS / Berlin Store: Ragnar Schmuck .

In collaboration with art technicians and artisans, UDS experimented with unconventional materials such as glass wax, flock coating, cast concrete and silicone to create the handcrafted sculptural display pieces. 'The design brief from the brand's creative director, Dorothee Loermann, was to create an effortless and fun environment with a particular focus on a tactile experience,' says Holley, who ran a series of workshops with the client to help develop a unique temporary space for the stores. 'We were challenged to put together an unconventional material palette using the materials that are not typically associated with retail interiors. We approached a small local mould-making workshop and went through a series of experiments with various materials and techniques. The design development evolved around those experiments.'

London store: Mirror-clad back wall creates an illusion of double depth
London Store: Mirror-clad back wall creates an illusion of double depth. Photo Credit:Michael Bodiam.

Opting for vivid, almost primary colours brings a fun element to the two spaces. Berlin's store contains brightly coloured objects and geometric fruit sculptures created by artist Sarah Illenberger to form a flexible 'landscape' that can be rearranged to help transform space. 'We also worked with artist Gary Card to create handmade sculptures for the window of the London pop-up store,' adds Holley. 'The unusual design elements draw people in to the space.'

The London and Berlin stores feature the brand's capsule collection, designed by Loermann. In London, the collection is displayed on a single 6.5m-long rail suspended from the ceiling, set against the raw concrete wall. The long and narrow space of the gallery is further emphasised by the mirror-clad back wall, creating an illusion of double depth.

London store: Fruit of the Loom and Seek No Further branding. Photo Credit: Michael Bodiam
London store: Fruit of the Loom and Seek No Further branding. Photo Credit: Michael Bodiam

In Berlin, the collection is displayed within the raw shell of the gallery, offset by the bold geometric shapes. The space consists of three rooms with design concepts by UDS based on the themes of journey, discovery and surprise. With the Berlin space benefiting from natural light, UDS decided to keep the material palette bright and fresh to maintain a sense of lightness. 'We have played with scale and bold colours to make each room in the store different, creating a memorable and unpredictable store visit,' asserts Holley.

Despite significant differences between the two spaces, it was considered important that both stores maintained a unified identity. Two common features are the way the understated monochrome palette of the collection is offset by a royal blue flock coating, and the use of translucent yellow cast glass display blocks and sculptural objects coated in soft pink silicone.

London store: Handmade sculptures by Gary Card. Photo: Michael Bodiam
London store: Handmade sculptures by Gary Card. Photo Credit: Michael Bodiam

'We felt that the two stores should have a common theme and approach to materiality, yet look quite different,' explains Holley. 'Both stores occupy gallery spaces that have a lot of character, and it was important for us to respond to the existing architectural environment.'

The location of the stores was also carefully considered to maximise the impact of the collection's launch into the European market. 'Both Berlin's Mitte district and London's Redchurch Street are becoming increasingly recognised as destinations for the cutting-edge fashion and lifestyle retail, where up-and-coming labels showcase their products to a young, design-savvy audience,' explains Holley. 'It was a natural choice for the brand that celebrates innovation and creativity to introduce its debut collection in these neighbourhoods.'

London store: Handmade sculptures by Gary Card. Photo: Michael Bodiam
London store: Handmade sculptures by Gary Card. Photo Credit: Michael Bodiam

UDS, which has also completed retail interior projects for Stella McCartney, Mulberry and H&M, reckons its previous retail design experience was helpful in delivering the two pop-up stores. Yet there were some issues the practice had not encountered before.

'The biggest challenge was time,' explains Holley. 'We had to understand the core values behind this new brand, how they wanted to communicate them and then create a design concept that could be constructed simply and efficiently in a matter of weeks. These limitations determined our approach to the design, and so we focused on creating a series of sculptural display pieces and left the architectural shell unaltered.' He adds: 'At Universal we work on a variety of projects, often long lead, so it was exciting to work on this fast-paced project.'

Despite of the time pressure, Holley points out that it was crucial to create the right experience and visual appearance for the shops. This opened up a valuable opportunity for UDS to collaborate with other specialist skills outside the architectural profession. He says: 'This brought a new perspective and gave us freedom to experiment with unconventional materials and techniques, and to question the boundaries between various creative disciplines.'

Suppliers

Light fittings (London only): Flos flos.com

Textiles (fitting room curtains in both stores): Kvadrat kvadrat.dk

Cork stools in both stores (not shown): Vitra vitra.com





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