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London and Singapore based Interior Architects Shed have once again been commissioned by Chalhoub Group, the leading partner for luxury in the Middle East, for the design of their latest retail expansion for Level Shoe District. Shed’s task was to conceptualise and reinvent a complete new Men’s extension at the current Level Shoe District, previously designed by Shed back in 2012. Located within the world’s largest Shopping Mall, The Dubai Mall, Level Shoe District is a globally recognized destination for luxury footwear.

Continuing on the success of the original concept of Level Shoe District, the new Men’s encompasses the rich variation and values of the modern day man with their strong sartorial appreciation of footwear and fashion. Harmonised within three zones: Designer Sneaker, Contemporary and Classic, and all contained within 3000 sq/ft footplate, it was vital to ensure coherence with the ‘Expo’ style approach of the existing space.

The idea wasn’t to dissect the space into compartmentalized zones, but allow all three areas to sit alongside one another in harmony, whilst expressing an identifiable aesthetic of each. A key element to the scheme is the blue stained timber floor that runs throughout the scheme. From Trend zone through to Classic, the transition in colour gradient and pattern tile shape provides the schemes platform in holding the individual zones together.

“Shed is thrilled to continue the design story at Level with the new Mens project. Maintaining the innovative design DNA was an important factor for arguably the world’s finest dedicated shoe environment” – Nick Stringer, Shed.

‘Designer Sneaker’ designed for the avant-garde, forward thinking man. The tech savvy individuals with trending and brand awareness, the area had to reflect exactly these values. Flexible in layout, large Hex tiles extruded in various heights create a topographical landscape flexible for reconfiguration and expressive VM opportunity. The geometric floor extrusions hugging and holding polished metal frame displays and hero metallic feature blocks setting up a perfect futuristic context to promote product and sneaker brands within.

‘Contemporary’ area is manifested through permanent installations of dynamic form and bold scale. Providing a center of gravity to anchor the scheme, a space representative of the art and culturally aware modern man. Four large sculptural fins with rose gold mesh display shelves rotate suggestively around the corresponding patterned rug and central seating banquette. With overlapping column hugging fins the internal light glow expressing the energy and dynamism of the feature central space. Large blue angle glass mirror plinths with marble tops elevate and present linear display product as the elongated forms continue the extruded concept from the transitional floor pattern.

The ‘Classic’ area the pace and symmetrical layout of richer furniture and luxury seating create for a more personalized browsing experience and exclusivity in service. Typical of the well-educated customer accustomed to the ‘club membership’ luxury and lifestyle. Finer reference to craftsmanship is expressed in bespoke furniture such as the machined metal tables forming tiered display footwear collections. Timber and mirror product vitrines corner quadrants and focus toward the central machined feature table. Suspended above is the original and ever illuminating ‘fragment’ light fixture – a bold prowess 421 octahedron framed inverted pyramid that reflects light throughout the 15m high atrium directly over the classic area.

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