Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Shoe Shop in Valletta, MALTA by Chris Briffa Architects
March 1st, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
The site for a new shoe shop in Valletta, presented a very limited volume – one 3x7m room with an underlying basement – which provided the most significant challenge. From the early sketches, we adopted a vertical approach rather than a horizontal one, and the volume was fragmented into one giant staircase which would combine display, seating, storage and all services into one. We imagined clients walking up, down and around the stairs, choosing their favourite shoes and actually sitting next to them to try them on, rather than looking at the merchandise through a glass. The experience of being surrounded by the products, together with the constantly changing vistas while exploring the shop enhances both the shopper and the shopped in a surreal, stepped space reminiscent of Japanese shoe-box architecture adorned by traditional Maltese textures; wrought iron railings, the Maltese eight-pointed cross, traditional lace.
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