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Barde + vanVoltt was asked to take full creative lead in designing Sneaker District’s second physical store. This included signage, interior and exterior design, lighting, product display, bespoke furniture and storage. For the design of Sneaker District Antwerp, Barde + vanVoltt were inspired by sneaker design, the neighborhood and how sneakers are made. This resulted in a stand-out store showcasing a strong dark grey base on top of a concrete floor combining color, different materials, a touch of nature and some savvy street styles.

Contrasting colors and combinations
In contrast to the shady tones on the walls and floor, Barde + vanVoltt introduced a bright pink powder color for the mesh displays and cabinets, clearly hinting to mesh used for the toes of sneakers. Outstanding materials such as oak in combination with marmoreal (marble) and shapes such as heptagons for displaying shoes, effortlessly combine with one another giving the store a futuristic but warm feel.

Barde + vanVoltt: “The neighborhood in which the new store is located is known for its antique stores. Displaying the latest sneakers in a big old cabinet only seemed like the best idea. We never go for the ordinary, so we selected a custom pink color for the cabinet and different steel design features inside. It gives rugged steel a softer feel whilst keeping it cool.”

Nature store journey
Moving into the store, visitors pass an outspoken mural on the left made by Vage Gasten, portraying the history and heritage of Amsterdam and Antwerp. “We emphasized the length of the store with a steel tunnel with led lighting, creating a natural store journey from the entrance to the back.”

Hang out
In the middle of the store visitors are invited on to an oak platform to chill out and scan some magazines from the comfort of two luxurious dark blue navy (fabric by Raf Simons for Kvadrat) colored velvet sofas. This cosy sitting area is sheltered from the rest of the store and only illuminated by Nas’ lyrics from ‘The World is Yours’; bright neon lighting, custom created for Sneaker District state: The Nikes on my feet keep my cypher complete.

“For the counter and the heptagon we used Marmoreal, a combination of 95% marble and 5% resin and polyester, which created a beautiful texture that reminded us of a Nike ‘Elephant Print’. The big green wall in the back is a tribute to the ivy that slowly began growing into the store whilst building. The natural light comes in from the gigantic roof window brightening up the whole façade turning it into a natural backdrop for the sneakers displayed on boxes in front.”

Marc van Dodewaard, Sneaker District: “Custom-made displays in wood and pink steel and a concrete floor give the store a fresh, tailored look, whilst vintage elements such as the sofa’s and the antique cabinet keep it accessible to everyone. The perfect mix.” In the end, mixing up mesh, contrasting materials and colors and graphic elements with a bit of the street’s antique-store heritage, Sneaker District Antwerp is the new perfect get-away for everybody in search of the (next) perfect pair.

Designed by Barde + vanVoltt
Photography by Thomas de Bruyn / Cafeine

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