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‘This is not just a shop; it’s a fantasy in which everyone has to find a story for themselves.’ Within the idiom of L’Eclaireur, shoppers are guests and are genuinely welcomed as such by every staff member. Adapted to his/her wishes and interest, the guest is proposed a personalized visit and in so-doing discovers the exposed goods. Here, within a retail environment that would normally highlight merchandise, the visitor plays a privileged role in the act of its ‘unveiling’.

More than two tons of recycled wooden planks, cardboard, and used aluminum print-plates were delivered to shape the scenography of this haute-couture womens boutique. Paradoxically, the space seems weightless. The interior is conceived by the perimeter the sculptured walls follow to envelope the space.

Though composed of recycled material, the final aspects of these walls have a stunning luxurious aspect. The effect is not only visual but also tactile and puts the first-time visitor off-guard.

Like an intimate dressing, this shop shatters the normal codes of ‘retail’: the curiosity of the visitor is triggered by the unconventional way of exposing or deliberate non-exposing of the goods. Each designer piece is a singular story which waits to be told and is housed in its own individual closet or alcove alongside diverse ‘objets trouvés’ or art-pieces.

Along the visitor’s path, every area in the overall space, even though identical in components, differs in atmosphere through the interaction of wall-texture and ambient light. At the end of his or her route, the visitor enters the back area where, apparently, no product is exposed. Only the space enlightened by the sky domes and the video-installation reveal there is something more going on. It just has to be triggered.

Designed by SAQ

Location: Paris, France
Status: Completed, 2009
Program Women’s Haute-Coutoure Store
Surface: 420 m2
Client: l’Eclaireur

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