Best of Year

5 Retail Wonderlands Subvert Reality

These retail environments—from Brooklyn to Barcelona—subvert reality with elements that transport customers into a variety of product- and design-inspired wonderlands.

Gray Matters by Bower Studios. Photography by Charlie Schuck.

“The pleasing compositions of the shoes were our inspiration.”

Firm: Bower Studios

Project: Gray Matters

Location: Brooklyn, New York

Standout: Riffing on the brand’s Mildred Egg mule, table bases are ovoids of painted resin composite, but the mirror is a customized Bower production piece.

North by Envelope Architecture + Design. Photography by Juliana Sohn.

“We conceived the store as a beautifully crafted kit of parts adaptable to diverse locations.”

Firm: Envelope Architecture + Design

Project: North

Location: Brooklyn, New York

Standout: Ceiling-hung holographic screens and capsule-themed booths offering advanced scanning technology are appropriately futuristic for this space selling Focals, or smart eyeglasses.

Camper by Kengo Kuma & Associates. Photography by Imagen Subliminal.

“Displaying each item individually brings more attention to the product.”

Firm: Kengo Kuma & Associates

Project: Camper

Location: Barcelona, Spain

Standout: Interlocking niches of unglazed iron oxide–tinted stoneware contain shoes and nod to the region’s Catalan vault, a fixture in the architecture of hometown hero Antoni Gaudí.

Harbook by Alberto Caiola Studio. Photography by Dirk Weiblen.

“The surprising color and material palettes lend a postmodern edge.”

Firm: Alberto Caiola Studio

Project: Harbook

Location: Hangzhou, China

Standout: In this digital age, it’s fitting that the bookstore-housewares hybrid melds the old (classic Italian porticos) with the new (Instagram-worthy Memphis-esque displays and hues).

Imarika by Marcante-Testa. Photography by Carola Ripamonti.

“The aim was to create an architectural landscape.”

Firm: Marcante-Testa

Project: Imarika

Location: Milan, Italy

Standout: The womenswear boutique’s renovation-expansion features elements in clay, burled briar, copper, and acrylic, creating a milieu referencing mid-century projects by Franco Albini and Carlo Scarpa.

Keep scrolling to view more images of the projects >

Gray Matters by Bower Studios. Photography by Charlie Schuck.
Gray Matters by Bower Studios. Photography by Charlie Schuck.
Gray Matters by Bower Studios. Photography by Charlie Schuck.
Gray Matters by Bower Studios. Photography by Charlie Schuck.
North by Envelope Architecture + Design. Photography by Juliana Sohn.
North by Envelope Architecture + Design. Photography by Juliana Sohn.
North by Envelope Architecture + Design. Photography by Juliana Sohn.
North by Envelope Architecture + Design. Photography by Juliana Sohn.
Camper by Kengo Kuma & Associates. Photography by Imagen Subliminal.
Camper by Kengo Kuma & Associates. Photography by Imagen Subliminal.
Camper by Kengo Kuma & Associates. Photography by Imagen Subliminal.
Camper by Kengo Kuma & Associates. Photography by Imagen Subliminal.
Harbook by Alberto Caiola Studio. Photography by Dirk Weiblen.
Harbook by Alberto Caiola Studio. Photography by Dirk Weiblen.
Harbook by Alberto Caiola Studio. Photography by Dirk Weiblen.
Imarika by Marcante-Testa. Photography by Carola Ripamonti.
Imarika by Marcante-Testa. Photography by Carola Ripamonti.
Imarika by Marcante-Testa. Photography by Carola Ripamonti.
Imarika by Marcante-Testa. Photography by Carola Ripamonti.

Read next: Dimore Studio Fashions a Unique Look for Luxury Italian Womenswear Emporium One-Off

> See more from the April 2019 issue of Wifijerez

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