15 November 2013 (Singapore) – designphase dba’s latest milestone project, Robinsons Orchard, has been unveiled at the heart of Orchard Road, one of the world’s premier retail destinations. The expansive interiors of the all-‐new six-‐storey department store have been designed from top to bottom with a fresh, revolutionary new approach to the retail experience. Chosen for their understanding of the culture in Singapore, knowledge of Robinsons’ rich 155-‐year history, and an unconventional, creative approach to the project, designphase dba revisited the archetype of department stores and reinvented this for a contemporary audience.
Joris Angevaare, Design Director at designphase dba and Design Lead on Robinsons Orchard, said, “Our partnership with Robinsons was inspiring from the first day. Our collaboration with the Robinsons team to redefine the departmental shopping experience in Singapore through reinterpretation and contemporising traditional ‘archetypal’ design elements and ‘remixing’ them with new edgy lifestyle influences, was truly energising.” He added, “It was essential for shoppers to read each of the six levels as part of a narrative, like chapters of a fascinating book. Each one is very different in merchandising and design, but it never feels out of context.”
Design revisits, refreshes and reinvents Robinsons
As part of the concept, designphase dba strategically deployed the ‘frame’, a contemporary interpretation of traditional displays, such as the Armoire wardrobe, stripped to their most minimal, recognisable outlines. The frame elements suggest their traditional heritage in a modern way, providing the merchandise with a stage on which to shine.
Robinsons Orchard has been designed with a softness to the palette, with marble, terrazzo, steel, timber and veneer, as well as an edginess in contrasting old with new, black with white and dashes of punchy colours. The environment feels spacious, open and full of light, emphasised through the opening of the façade to spectacular views of Orchard Road in both directions. The amazing skylit central atrium with its penetration of natural light, contributes fundamentally to the sense of airiness and the stretching of sight lines.
Artwork includes the world’s largest OLED light installation
Shoppers will be captivated with breathtaking features throughout Robinsons Orchard, most notably the 25-‐metre-‐high, I.Rain installation by Thierry Gaugain – the tallest and largest installation of its kind in the world. This incredible chandelier features 1,300 Organic Light Emitting Diodes, creating the impression of rain frozen in time. It is suspended from above the center atrium and is visible from the ground floor all the way up to the skylight.
“Each individual customer will find their own favourite corner of the store. The layout promotes deep circulation, with vistas of interest in product displays, captivating backdrops, stunning views, and visual merchandising elements and techniques,” said Joris Angevaare. “The quality of materials, variety of product, sense of openness, narrative in the design and a couple of exciting surprises, all combine to offer a fresh, new approach to the department store landscape of Asia,” he said.
Photography by Ian F. Gibb for designphase dba