OMA for Coach
The prolific Dutch architecture firm, OMA, has recently released conceptual designs for a modular display structure commissioned by the American leather-goods emporium, Coach. OMA’s unique merchandising system, which provides space for the story behind each of Coach’s many diverse product lines to be articulated, is a rather unconventional choice for a brand so rooted in conservative lines and traditional aesthetics. It’s a forward thinking concept that projects the future of the Coach line, a future that seems markedly different from its past. The modular system, which can be reconfigured to meet the needs of each individual store and has the capacity to act as display fixture, facade and programming space, is designed “to create magical spatial possibilities for coach” according to lead architect Shohei Shigematsu. I love a well-designed interior and often choose to shop in stores that make an effort to create a unique environment in their spaces over ones that seem entirely uninterested in aesthetics. I find it interesting that some of the most innovative interiors these days can be found in retail, as stores become increasingly interested in creating affective and immersive environments in spaces that traditionally had been quite banal. It’s not surprising then that architectural practices like OMA are now taking commissions from brands eager to further differentiate themselves from there ever increasing number of competitors by revolutionizing the experience of entering their stores. It will be interesting to see if and how OMA’s designs will alter the identity and public perception of this well-known brand as Coach enters a new phase in its development.
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