Navigating the European stylings of the building it occupies, Camilla and Marc Armadale becomes a sculptural insertion into its narrow and linear allotment. Akin Atelier carves a uniquely immersive retail experience and, through an organic and sinuous approach to joinery, create an idyllic platform to showcase seasonal offerings.
Set amongst the preserved traditional High Street frontages of Melbourne’s Armadale, the newest revision of Camilla and Marc elevates the traditional retail experience through a sculptural journey that offers a unique engagement with the brand. As retail continues to change and evolve, and its relevance and place is evaluated, the opportunity to participate in a physical space has never been more important. The space emphasises the tactile and is a sensory opportunity that allows the seasonal offerings to sit in contrast to the highly crafted interiors. Akin Atelier focuses on a sequential series of transitions to compartmentalise the space and alter the internal experience through movement.
Built by EMAC Constructions, Camilla and Marc Armadale sits long and lean across its site, while emphasising considered restraint to enhance a sense of spaciousness. Set within an existing established building, the space encourages an interplay with natural light, and a sense of movement is created through a textural approach to the vertical surfaces. The subtle shifts in materiality align with the ethos of Camilla and Marc, while steps internally carefully delineate between zones and offer a relief from the site’s length. The space is divided into four zones in essence, breaking down the whole and encouraging movement between each.
Engaging with the street and acting as the face of the store, the front room welcomes guests and offers a sense of arrival and relief, encased in travertine underfoot. Marking the entry is the pearl wave onyx counter that snakes its way through the front of the site and sits as the initial hint at sculpture within the space. The second and third rooms become warmer with European oak flooring added to complement the travertine. The last room then culminates as the changing room spaces, where pumpkin coloured opulence drapes the individual rooms and injects warmth amongst the soft flesh, nude and peachy tones used throughout. The rear then opens to the curated landscape courtyard space, bringing in the natural and offering an aperture out.