The best Retail Space projects from the last five years

We look at the Retail Space projects that have won an FX Award over the last five years

Boasting a range of categories and allowing both product and project entrees, the FX International Design Awards welcomes entrees from both international and UK-based architects, suppliers, designers and more! Want to find out more about the competition? Click here. Fancy your chances of winning a 2020 FX Award? The deadline for entries is 25th July, so make sure to get those products and projects in soon!

With the 2020 FX Awards season around the corner, we have chosen to take a look at some of the projects that have previously won FX Awards. Each of the articles in this series focuses on a specific Award category, and today, we’re rediscovering the projects that have previously won the Retail Space Award. As an independent expert panel judges the FX Awards (and the panel changes for every category and year), the projects that have won the Retail Design Award can truly be called the best in the world.


Shop 03, by i29 Interior Architects

Hoping to surprise and inspire visitors to the Frame Store Shop 03, i29 Interior Architects have created an innovated area that offers a three-dimensional experience. At the front of the Store, the team have created an installation of white, rectangular panels and black diagonal frames, which float in an all-white space.

Meanwhile, panels hanging from the walls and ceilings have been designed to function as a canvas for the Store’s products. One of the main points of the brief was to ensure the Store’s identity could change completely; the flexibility of the panels was of paramount importance which is why the design team made sure to make the panels easily replaceable and easy to change.


PlayPlus by Panorama International

Focusing on raising children who can learn, act and think independently, PlayPlus is a kindergarten that was built to depict the metaphor of an abstract ‘landscape’ and to implement that school’s educational policy. The space’s degrees of scale, height, proportion and openness can be manipulated, in order to cater to the children’s different activity needs.

Image: Ng Siu Fung

Key zones have been introduced into the space to give the children a range of dynamic learning environments, and to promote interactions; these have been finished in timber veneer and pastel-coloured upholstery. The new space also features multimedia projections on the walls, juxtaposed with the traditional chalkboards to provide flexible teaching media.


Warehouse, Argyll Street, by Checkland Kindleysides with Alasdhair Willis

Led by the Checkland Kindleysides design team with brand consultant Alasdhair Willis, this project signalled a change in direction for the high street chain, Warehouse. Created to feel like a continuation of the street, the team have blended physical and digital touchpoints to bring the new, unique concept to life. A flock of digital birds move around the store, ‘flying’ from the front to the back to encourage the customers to follow them and interact with the space.

Lining the walls of the store, roller shutters enhance the metropolitan vibe, and the design team have used bright accent colours – including yellow street markings – to reinforce the feeling of walking between the city’s high-rise buildings. Set between the two floors, a digital wall forms a main focal point and showcases content ranging from brand campaigns to runway footage and social media images. Blending the online world with the physical store, the addition of this digital wall creates an immersive atmosphere for customers, and is designed to create a deeper connection between them and the brand.


Adidas x Concepts, The Sanctuary, by Sid Lee Architecture

Celebrating the first partnership between Adidas and Concepts, The Sanctuary is a store that was created and designed for sports shoe fans to admire products from the brand, as well as showcasing exclusive shoes and apparel. Designed with the aim of inspiring streetwear enthusiasts, The Sanctuary is built to cut consumers off from the outside world, setting the tone for the journey ahead and visually introducing the brands the visitors will come across inside.

Image Credit: Maxime Brouillet

Tucked into the basement of one of Boston’s oldest commercial streets, The Sanctuary begins with a raw-metal screen door with circular lace patterns that reveal the collaboration between Adidas and Concepts by using both brands’ logos. Visitors move past this and descend through the liberation tunnel chamber, where they can walk through several discoveries before – ‘in temple-like fashion’ – arriving in the space that has been designed to celebrate the shoes it holds.


SND, by Various Associates

Exploring the relationship between body and space, Various Associates have created church-like architecture for the SND store; the layout is simple, featuring a symbolic ‘milestone’ on the central axis which represents the starting point for the brand becoming international. The site’s narrow and linear characteristics were taken into consideration to the new design, as was SND’s functional requirements; this has resulted in clear, circular routes through the space.

Image Credit: Shao Feng

Surpassing the conventional ideas of retail design, Various Associates have created a space that is memorable from both inside and outside, with window display areas being maximised and a ‘Mirror Room’ at the centre of the space that is both ‘psychedelic’ and ‘futuristic’. Symmetry has been used to make the space feel sacred and ceremonial, while the reception desk and display units are clearly visible to give customers the best experience possible.

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