Nowhere​ Store by abgc, Dublin​ – Ireland

July 10th, 2015 by retail design blog

Winter 2014 sees the launch of Nowhere – a menswear retail venture on Dublin’s Aungier Street and online at www.anowhereman.com. Born of a shared curiosity in the discourse of masculinity and the culture of clothes, Nowhere is bringing a progressive cut of today’s menswear designers and labels to Dublin and online.


The Nowhere store design is by Irish architects abgc, who overcame the irregular plan of the historic interior by leaving every piece of the original in-situ. Their insertion, at the heart of the design, is a single continuous rail in brass and walnut, which takes the essential fixtures of a clothes store, and reimagines them within the visual and literal narrative of Nowhere. The single continuous rail both defines the space and embodies what the space must provide. It plays with old and new, hard and soft, darkness and light, reflecting the juxtapositions of a masculinity somewhat trapped in a no man’s land – starting nowhere, going nowhere.


This rail, from which everything hangs, allows the store to be changed continuously. It adapts, creating a variety of hanging spaces, forming dowelled ceiling roses for pendant lighting and making the enclosure for the changing room. According to abgc: “In the end, the narrative of interior architecture acknowledges the temporal nature of retail; the design is all about acknowledging and facilitating change.” As per David; “it’s the opposite of a traditional men’s store where everything is fixed for hundreds of years.” Two central pieces of furniture are designed to float off the floor within a dialogue with the rail above, providing seating where the rail creates space, display where the rail provides light. Elsewhere, a Japanese inspired aesthetic is inlaid in brass on the magazine rack, while the shoe rack references Kali, the many armed Indian Deity, with the corpus replaced by mirror. We are all gods, there is no god; you decide.


“We wanted to create a uncluttered space that obviously celebrates the garments we love” says co-founder David Erixon. “We wanted to have a very precise design. It’s very engineered, hand made, filled with masculine materials such as leather, wood and metals.” The result however is not a traditional gentleman’s environment, but a very progressive and future-looking design with lots of practical yet playful elements. The materials are, according to abgc “tactile yet masculine. Loose and fixed elements each contribute to this discussion; textured solid timber floorboards reflected in clean mirrored glass; walnut grain meeting polished cut brass fixings; soft natural leather hides behind a smooth painted surface. Each was carefully considered for its origin, use, application and installation.” The ebony, full aniline leather hides which finish the changing room were produced from an environmental tanning process using olive leaves to produce a soft, pure texture, and to allow the leather to fall naturally, abgc commissioned bespoke hoops from 5mm brass rod.


The Nowhere building is a terraced two-bay four-storey rendered building of seventeenth century origins, with an early timber shopfront with large windows to ground floor. The projecting sign by abgc is “a figurative distillation of the Strong Arm, turned upside down and abstracted as a matt black mild steel and un-lacquered brass assemblage. The material order is also subverted; it’s hanging bracket, formed in brass, becomes the focus, while the traditional name plate is un-branded and silhouetted by neon. The usual counterpoint of the sign is reversed, reinforcing the concept – you are here – this is Nowhere”


Nowhere is located on 64 Aungier Street, which dates back to 1661, and is the oldest merchant street in Dublin. It now connects the south city centre with the bustle of Camden Street. Aungier Street has been identified by Dublin City Council as a critical street to develop for the next wave of Dublin inner city growth. “We love Aungier Street”, says co-founder Brian Teeling. “It’s kind of epitomises what Nowhere is, as a bridge between the fringe, creativity and fun of Camden Street, and the more established area around George’s Street and South William Street. It’s both nowhere, in between and at the heart of the future. We think that the Nowhere customer will be a bit of an explorer.”


The online shop at www.anowhereman.com is designed by Irish agency Post, also responsible for the tailor-made Nowhere font and graphical programme. The font is a play on the continuous rail – its typeface inspired by the thicker wooden sections counterpointed by the thinner brass joints. “We promise to bring new things to Dublin and the world through www.anowhereman.com. New menswear. New ideas about masculinity. New men. We will go headlong into the future. We will take risks and make bold bets. We will be generous, thoughtful and kind. And we will certainly have a lot of fun.” – Brian & David.

Design: ​abgc
Photography: ​Paul Tierney

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