In the modern shopping world, typical brick-and-mortar stores just won’t bring in any customers anymore. Storefronts and the entire architectural design of modern stores must offer new appeals for customers that flat, typical department stores and retailers just don’t offer. One way that up-and-coming businesses that need storefronts do this is by hiring cutting-edge architectural designers to provide what typical contractors just can’t.
For Ssense, a corporation that has its target aimed at the heart of the art-loving, visual youth market, no ordinary building would be enough. It sought to create an atmosphere that felt just as modern as the designer collections that they offer in an environment where art and culture was as celebrated as the customer.
The Great Modern Architecture of David Chipperfield
To get this job done, there was only one clear choice: 64-year-old London native David Chipperfield. Chipperfield has been noted in the field of architecture and building design for a number of years now, designing flagship stores for such deep-seated brands as Valentino, but also designing a multitude of museums, including the St. Louis Museum of Art. His works are serious, paying homage to the past and respecting memory without feeling as though it is an attempt to revive the entire past. He does not delve into flamboyance or extraneous show, but instead focuses on simple, clean designs that carry an equally artistic feel without being extreme.
In designing the Ssense flagship store in the heart of Montreal, he makes no exceptions. The exterior of the store is a beautiful preservation of the building’s facade that already sat there with the entire new energy being placed inside. As a matter of fact, the feeling of the interior is starkly modern, a sharp contrast from the designs of the past on the face of the store. The store’s interior is blanketed in sheets of metal that reflect industrial lighting. Within this skeleton of metal and light sits a perfect concrete frame that houses all five floors of the creative couture space. This allows for the real color and life to be placed on the customers and the clothes, allowing for that life to literally reflect off the walls and keep the institution feeling alive.
The bare surfaces of the interior also serve a secondary purpose: to conceal the elements of technology that serve to separate the Ssense flagship store from other online and brick-and-mortar joint establishments. A grid-style framework sits in the concrete inner building and houses wiring and technological elements that allow Ssense customers to order anything from the Ssense online store and have it delivered to the physical location in just an hour, whereas other retailers take days or weeks to ship online goods to a physical location. This makes its customers feel like they have the lifestyle of a celebrity.
Finishing off all this effort sits a cherry on top: a glass-roofed café in which customers can dine and enjoy the natural light of the sun while taking in part of the Montreal skyline at the same time.
In this post-internet age, it can be extremely difficult for online brands to get any footing at all in a brick and mortar business, but Ssense has wisely collaborated with a master of artful architectural designs in order to establish its name in the brick-and-mortar retail business as well as maintain the vision that Ssense was founded upon. This is what continues to set it apart from competitors and pave the way for a bright corporate future for Ssense.