De Bijenkorf is a luxury department store with seven branches in the Netherlands and part of the British Selfridges Group. i29 interior architects made the design for the new 3500 m2 menswear department on the first floor of the Amsterdam store. Previously i29 and De Bijenkorf worked together on Room on the Roof, an artist in residence in the tower on the Dam Square and the interior of ‘The Kitchen’, the restaurant of De Bijenkorf Utrecht.
The monumental building on the Dam square in the heart of Amsterdam is a national monument. For the major renovation that is going on for some years, the British firm HMKM made a new retail strategy and KAAN architects an architectural vision. The starting point was unveiling the original construction and opening up the façade for more daylight and the connection with the city.
The interior design of i29 is based on the architectural structure of the building. A spatial “grid” connects floor, columns, ceiling and furniture with each other in a division of gray tones. This structure forms a strong basis for the various installations, shop-in-shops and generic brand presentations in the store, and the new meeting place “Isaacs bar” designed by XML. The “brand stores” also follow the grid, but distinguish themselves in their own materialization. This brings unity to the experience but at the same time ensures diversity, variation and flexibility for specific brand identities within the general structure.
In the new setup, all men’s fashion is brought together on one floor, making new combinations possible organized around target groups such as: formal, casual and designer. For example, men’s shoes are positioned at formal and have their own color, materialization and appearance compared to the adjacent casual shoe department.
Each area has been given its own identity by varying the color and material of the installations. Glass in different colors provides a transparent spatial experience but also defines the different areas. In the center of the store a spectacular LED installation is placed. Powerful brand presentations can be made here by means of branded videos in combination with the products. Brands that have presented themselves so far are: Off White, Filling Pieces and Kenzo.
The continuous grid in combination with the use of transparent materials provides overview, clear sightlines and a natural flow through the store. The individual installations follow the grid, but are flexible enough for a temporary reorganization to be able to draw up different scenarios such as a seasonal or sale presentation. Because the grid literally cuts through the furniture, a subdivision between the products is created in a natural way and gives various presentation options. This way, the more than 7 million visitors who visit the Bijenkorf Amsterdam every year can expect a new experience every time they visit the store.
De Bijenkorf wants to initiate positive change by promoting its own vision on sustainability, setting a good example and creating awareness. “We help to make the fashion industry more transparent”. The interior follows this vision through the use of sustainable materials, natural and LED lighting, plants and cradle to cradle floor finishes.