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.
The White Tower Gift Shop At The Tower Of London in England by KINNERSLEY KENT DESIGN
March 16th, 2018 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: KINNERSLEY KENT DESIGN
The White Tower is the oldest building in the Tower of London, built shortly after the Norman conquest of 1066. Historic Royal Palaces, a charity that runs and manages six historic palaces in the UK, asked leading design consultancy Kinnersley Kent Design to redesign The White Tower’s gift shop.
The brief had four key aims: first, to create an exciting and engaging retail experience; secondly, to improve customer flow and circulation; thirdly, to take a sympathetic approach to enhance the natural theatre and character of the building; and fourth and finally to facilitate product merchandising, using individual or grouped product narratives. The key challenge was achieving these transformations without touching the building fabric of this Grade I Scheduled Ancient Monument in any way.
Kinnersley Kent Design’s concept was inspired by the aesthetic of the White Tower itself. The design enhances the innate theatre and character of the building, bringing its original architecture to life. The material palette is raw and honest, drawing inspiration from the building’s materials and its collection of weaponry and armour. It features dark oak, brushed brass, punched metal, blackened steel and metal mesh.
As 7,000 visitors pass through the White Tower on an average peak day it was essential to improve customer circulation. As the fabric of the building had to remain untouched, the new concept works with the existing floorplan – a narrow central space with six alcoves.
Kinnersley Kent Design improved the customer journey by replacing existing mid-floor units with new grab-and-go displays, set back slightly into the alcoves to increase space and draw visitors in. Both cash desks were relocated closer to the exit to minimise any disruption caused by queuing.
As nothing could be attached to the walls or ceiling, the designers commissioned bespoke, freestanding display units. The units allow for maximum visual merchandising flexibility while providing the framework and structural support for the key design feature: three huge, bespoke pendant lights that illuminate the central walkway. Cleverly attached to the units, the lights rise up in three arches, mirroring and accentuating the vaulted ceiling.
The result is a dramatic, warm and practical space with a robust and authoritative aesthetic – one that’s authentic and appropriate to the historic location.
Contact KINNERSLEY KENT DESIGN