Shoe World at Tallinna Kaubamaja: interior architecture

Location: Gonsiori 2, Tallinn, Estonia
Area: 900 sq.m.
Client: Kaubamaja AS
Direct commission: 2016
Project team: Margit Argus, Maris Kerge
Status: completed in 2016

PHYSICAL SHOPS STRIKE BACK

In a time when all shopping can be done online without leaving home, it may seem that shopping environments as physical spaces are no longer needed. However, ‘real shops’ are now being designed more carefully than ever before: architects are in search of better functionality, on the one hand, and of playful and attractive designs, on the other. Perhaps a parallel can be drawn with the realm of food: there are situations in which fast food or a snack from a street vendor can be a lifesaver while at other times we would like to eat the meal with slow enjoyment. Much in the same vein, the process of buying new clothes, footwear and accessories can be seen as just a matter of practical necessity — or we can make shopping a pastime that involves looking at the products, trying them on and communicating with the salesperson as essential parts of the experience. A retail environment will also have to create a spatial impression: cosiness and comfort, something different from the habitual environments.

The ladies’ Shoe and Accessory World of Tallinna Kaubamaja department store is stylistically and functionally divided into four sections: luxury, trends, classics and hosiery. The new design will provide each of the four zones with a specific spatial touch.

Given the location in the heart of the city, surrounded by busy traffic, city space was a primary source of inspiration for the design of this department. Like streetside buildings of different styles and materials, there is variation in the interior of the Shoe and Accessory World, manifesting itself in the alternation of formats and distances, dark and light, the materials. Here and there, direct quotes from the urban environment come in, e.g. concrete as a material or arc elements as a form. The luxury zone has been inspired by the velvety cosiness of theatres while the cash wrap areas draw inspiration even more specifically from ‘Paradise’, a play staged at the Von Krahl theatre in Tallinn.

The new retail concept of the Shoe and Accessory World is aimed at carrying on the existing qualities — good functionality and playfulness — and using the spatial impression as a competitive advantage against virtual shops.

image of Shoe World at Tallinna Kaubamaja: interior architecture

image of Shoe World at Tallinna Kaubamaja: interior architecture

image of Shoe World at Tallinna Kaubamaja: interior architecture

image of Shoe World at Tallinna Kaubamaja: interior architecture

image of Shoe World at Tallinna Kaubamaja: interior architecture

image of Shoe World at Tallinna Kaubamaja: interior architecture

image of Shoe World at Tallinna Kaubamaja: interior architecture

image of Shoe World at Tallinna Kaubamaja: interior architecture

image of Shoe World at Tallinna Kaubamaja: interior architecture

image of Shoe World at Tallinna Kaubamaja: interior architecture