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28 June 2012
N.Tyler Flagship Boutique
The Damien Hirst-inspired retail store designed by young Singaporean studio UPSTAIRS_ offers a spliced-up take on traditional English architecture.
N.Tyler’s first flagship boutique at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands boldly draws inspiration from the dissected works of British artist Damien Hirst.
The idea takes its cue from the Savile Row-inspired bespoke menswear label, which offers a contemporary twist to traditional English tailoring.
“We wanted to borrow from the ostentatious drama that only English architecture can evoke, but we also wanted to expose the artifice of recreating something so traditional within a modern and foreign context,” says Dennis Cheok of design studio UPSTAIRS_.
“We sought to take the most quintessential space within a Savile Row house, highly stylised and art-directed to the smallest detail, splice these parts up and reconfigure them to find new meanings.”
Within the long and deep shoebox floorplate, the designers have created a linear spatial sequence that guides visitors through a Row House and into its 3 archetypal spaces: the Front Hall is the first thing one sees as one enters the store and also serves as an immersive backdrop for the evolving displays; the Salon is the centrepiece and contains a bespoke tailor’s pedestal and dressing rooms; and the Stair Atrium is a transitional area where one makes payment.
There are dissected ‘archways’ and in between them, surreal, floating galleries of furniture pieces that one would find in a traditional English house – dissected pedestals, truncated ornamental legs and carved timber stair balustrades – which in turn offer up a variety of surfaces to display visual merchandising.
“Every single detail within the space is created as a nod to the fashion label’s British origins, or more quintessentially, the craft of tailoring,” says Cheok, pointing as examples to such thoughtful, intricate details as doors studded with thousands of sewing thimbles, and to the way the bespoke tailor’s pedestal takes pride of place within the store, anchored beneath a dramatic mirrored vaulted ceiling.
“We designed every single element from the walls to the furniture, right down to the shoeshine stand – even the vintage furniture and lighting pieces were painstakingly sourced, dissected and refinished,” says Cheok.
Like how the work of Damien Hirst has to be experienced up-close, perhaps the best way to truly appreciate the space is to pay the store a visit… and get a suit made to fit while at it…
Photograhy: Edward Hendricks (CI&A Photography)