Challenging the function of the single-use retail store arguably started with the 2001 opening of the Prada Epicenter store in New York City. Designed by OMA, the store aimed to blur the boundary between retail, event, exhibition and public space. All of the main level store fixtures are suspended from the ceiling on motorized tracks and with the press of a button, move to a back room, effortlessly transforming the space for an event. At least that was the idea. A look at the wear patterns on the wood floor reveal the fixtures haven’t moved much in the ten years+ the store has been open. With all the multi-use retail concepts since, the biggest challenge always seems to be the multi-use part. It is a bit like committing to rearranging the furniture in your house every week. Who does that?
LN-CC (Late Night Chameleon Café) operate a stealthy appointment-only boutique in East London that appears to have gotten the logistical kinks worked out. Rather than adopting Prada’s Swiss army knife approach, LN-CC periodically renovate sections of the store, treating them more like art installations. The shop recently re-opened with updates to areas previously constructed by set designer Gary Card. The interior theme has gone more sleek and polished in contrast to Card’s use of rough lumber. The shop is divided into four individual product rooms, a library, a record store, gallery and a club space.
Footwear is now displayed in the Secular Space (top photo), a white tunnel looking something like a space ship interior from the film 2001. Mirrors at either end create the illusion that the space extends on to infinity.
The Chameleon Sound Space is a private bar and party room that compliments LN-CC’s musical interests. They formed an in-house record label call LN-CC Recordings and offer an in-store mix series for free download from their soundcloud page.
Here’s a few more photos of the interior including the former tunnel by Gary Card.
photos: Ben Benoliel / LN-CC