Looking to revamp its interior space, British retail giant Topshop asked students to create a space that would represent ‘the future of retail.’ The competition sought an inspirational, expandable and flexible interior structure and retail space for the store’s in-house Unique and Boutique labels at their London flagship store on Oxford Street.
Rob Vindall, a MA Interiors student at the Royal College of Art in London, won the competition with his modular ceiling design that featured a triangular grid structure from which rails and products could hang. Vindall did not know he was designing for Topshop until the last two weeks of the competition, but this was more beneficial than anything else. He said:
Not knowing the client or the exact space until two weeks before meant there was an element of detachment and we could really explore our ideas without constraint.
He came up with the idea of the undulating ceiling to give a an ‘emphasis to hanging and balance’ and it is what makes his concept so ingenious. Head of RCA Interiors program Ab Rogers said:
It’s an antidote to classic retail design where most display systems have large unfilled volumes of space above them. The grid creates discipline and precision, bringing elegance and calm to the Boutique’s interior.
The structure is both interesting and functional, and can be moved and shifted as the stock changes. It captures the shoppers’ eye and draws them into that area of the store, which is important in a three-floor shopping experience.
Click through to see some shots of the winning design below: