London-based architectural studio, Nick Leith-Smith A+D has unveiled its latest design for Manolo Blahnik in Kowloon, Hong Kong in the heart of the Victoria Dockside redevelopment.
The design for the new Hong Kong flagship was inspired by the metaphysical paintings of Giorgio de Chirico and offers a contemporary interpretation of his abstract, surrealist works.
The design combines simplified forms, geometric objects and strong, defined shapes with the use of earthy, natural colour palettes and draws strong contrasts between light and shadows.
An exercise in re-imagining the form of columns was a starting point for the project. Chamfering, shifting, rotating and resizing columns created an undulating display niches, which led Nick Leith-Smith and his team to come up with a bespoke shelving system.
The design also embraces existing columns within the space, while mirrors are used in a geometric column shelving system, adding to the abstract, dream-like atmosphere.
The shop also features tiles and terrazzo elements handmade in Mallorca, as well as a bespoke rug and hand plastered waving walls that refer to the warm, Mediterranean palette used by de Chirico in his series of paintings depicting the typical squares of Italian cities.
Nick Leith-Smith says: “Each Manolo Blahnik boutique requires its own unique space, yet must also convey the wit, craft and elegance that the brand is known for the world over. The interior of the Kowloon flagship, like Manolo Blahnik’s creations, offers contemporary interpretations of classic design, resulting in a striking yet seamless addition to the local retail landscape in which it sits.”
Nick Leith-Smith A+D has designed more than 60 retail spaces for Manolo Blahnik in more than 20 countries over the past 15 years, including the recently opened concession at Selfridges, London, and a flagship boutique in the fashionable district of Omotesando, Japan.