MRA Architecture & Interior Design has created the first UK flagship store for luxury British brand House of Hackney. Located at 131 Shoreditch High Street, the store showcases the brand’s full product range, including fashion and interiors and new categories such as sleepwear, accessories and stationery. Founded by life and business partners Frieda Gormley and Javvy M Royle in 2011, House of Hackney has built up a cult following through its luxury stockists and website. MRA’s brief was to create a showcase to support House of Hackney’s highly personalised service and reflect both its nonconformist spirit and its roots in traditional, high-quality craftsmanship.
Stephanie Srivastava, Director at MRA, explains: ‘House of Hackney wanted to create a space dedicated to their product, a destination for their customers where the “beauty of the collections can be seen in their entirety”. The store provides a “touchpoint” for followers of the brand, a tactile opportunity to engage and be entertained while being immersed in their statement prints.’
Solution: The store, which comprises 2,000 square feet (186m²) arranged over two floors, is devised as a series of themed rooms: Garden, Fabric and Fashion. The design embodies the brand’s playful, irreverent style and the store is decorated in House of Hackney’s trademark prints, together with new collections. The backdrop features dark furniture in House of Hackney’s signature ‘midnight’ colourway, which acts as a foil to offset the highly decorative product on offer. The style is classic Victoriana with a twist: richly ornate detailing that is accentuated by the vivid prints of the fabrics and wallpapers on display.
An eye-catching awning, featuring House of Hackney’s ‘Hackney Empire’ print, immediately gives the store a strong street presence, creating the ambience of a traditional storefront. The House of Hackney logo is picked out in delicate gold lettering, mounted on the existing stone fascia panel. Spilling down the steps and on to the street, an array of fresh flowers and plants draws customers into the Garden Room. Creative florists Wild at Heart have curated a special ‘Wild at Heart x House of Hackney’ flower shop inspired by the collections.
Traditional black-and-white Victorian-style tiling contrasts with the flamboyant decoration, and a new floral print, used for the papered feature wall and on the bespoke tiles to the back of the florist’s counter top, adds to the natural exuberance. Space is provided for the florists to make up bouquets, with a butler’s sink and feature brass taps, adding activity to the front area of the store.
In the Fabric Room, large-format shelving provides a showcase for House of Hackney’s richly decorative cushions, while the wallpaper range is displayed on oversized hinged panels to show the full pattern repeat. A library of fabric and wallpaper samples, beautifully tied with ribbon, and smaller items, such as fine bone china, is displayed within shelving near the cash/wrap desk. The desk features a marble top and is clearly defined by the dramatic globe pendant luminaires located above.
The Victorian tiling is reprised, a change in scale delineating the separate ‘rooms’. The Fabric Room is enhanced by octagonal feature mirror panelling to the ceiling, adding a sense of grandeur that matches the fabrics on display.
The Fashion Room houses the brand’s celebrated apparel designs, alongside footwear, sleepwear and lingerie. In the centre, a grand ‘conversation seat’ upholstered in ‘Wild Card’ fabric lends an opulent salon feel, providing a space to wait while partners try on clothing in the fitting rooms, which feature ‘Hackney Empire Stripe’ paper and curtains. At the rear of the store, a double-height space creates a perfect environment to show the full effect of the brand’s signature ‘Hackney Empire’ luxury wallpaper. Featuring a carnival of animals in a riot of colour, this adds a sense of theatre as customers take the spiral staircase to the lower floor.
On reaching the Furniture Showroom on the lower floor, visitors are immersed in House of Hackney’s furniture collections in a series of room sets, curated by print. The interior reflects the luxury signature style of the brand with a traditional foundation of faux fireplace, parquet floor and panelling, together with an attention-grabbing feature bed set dressed in ‘Dalston Rose’. Overhead, a grid system enables the creation of a flexible display space, much like a stage set, where screens can be suspended and moved to form different ‘rooms’.
Frieda Gormley, House of Hackney, comments: ‘MRA has designed a captivating interior for our flagship store. Beautifully designed and crafted, it is a perfect backdrop to House of Hackney’s collections – both fashion and interiors.’
MRA Architecture and Interior Design is a dynamic architectural consultancy specialising in the design and construction of high-quality retail interiors for a host of international clients. Since its formation in 2002, MRA has developed a reputation for creating captivating environments that effectively communicate the client’s brand values whilst delighting and engaging the customer. Led by directors Anshu and Stephanie Srivastava, MRA has established a track record for the successful design and project management of retail interiors from concept design to completion. Repeat work from several multinational brands is testament to MRA’s ability to meet client aspirations and deliver to programme, often working to complex briefs and tight deadlines. Based in offices in London and Paris, the consultancy has gained international project experience and an impressive portfolio, which demonstrates MRA’s clear thinking, bold concepts and expert delivery.