The first in our series of stores for designer shoe retailer Shoebaloo, located on the ritzy P.C. Hooftstraat, presents an enigmatic face to the world. Its dark frontage is an intriguing contrast to the huge windows on the rest of the street. Inside, curious customers find a jaw-dropping, futuristic space flooded with light and colour.
Interior design, Retail
Amsterdam’s P.C. Hooftstraat is one of the city’s most exclusive shopping streets, packed with luxurious glass-fronted stores. To make Shoebaloo stand out, we decided to take the opposite approach. Our closed shop front triggers curiosity and makes the interior is a huge surprise. Customers find themselves in a perfectly enclosed and fully detailed world reminiscent of a sci-fi space capsule. The store quickly became one of the most visited shops on the street, and further spectacular spaces for Shoebaloo followed.
The dark frontage is an intriguing contrast to the huge windows on the rest of the street
Our dark façade treatment is deliberately obscure, with mirror-glass doors reflecting the street and passers-by. On closer scrutiny, a few shoes loom out of the darkness, carefully lit by spotlights – enough to intrigue potential customers and lure them inside, while leaving them totally unprepared for the spatial impact of the interior.
Inside, the 100m2 interior is a revelation. The walls, ceiling and glass-covered subfloor are covered in a series of coffers in translucent polyacrylic, with rounded corners creating a smooth, seamless effect. In the coffered niches, shoes are displayed with heightened drama thanks to spotlighting. At the back of the space, a glowing oval-shaped display for accessories is a prominent focal point that underlines the strong perspectival effect of the store, with its many converging lines.
The whole interior space has an unearthly glow thanks to 540 tube lights which are concealed behind the plastic panels, creating a unique atmosphere. This is enhanced by the use of colour. A slow-changing colour cycling program bathes the space in intense or subtle washes of colour, so the ambience is never quite constant but is always gradually evolving.
Custom furnishings add to the seamlessness of the design. Egg-shaped benches and a counter are finished in glossy white. The counter incorporates all the necessary sales and customer service functions in a thoroughly futuristic form, making the act of buying shoes an unusual, even rather dramatic, experience – almost like having a walk-on part in a science fiction movie.
In the coffered niches, shoes are displayed with heightened drama thanks to spotlighting