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Juicy Couture, Regent Street, London, UK

Issue 70 Dec / Jan 2013 : Retail : Store

ARCHITECT: MRA Architecture & Interior Design LIGHTING DESIGN: Paul Nulty Lighting Design M&E Consultant: E&M Tecnica

A swarm of pink Vespas heading down Regent Street heralded the opening of Juicy Couture’s new London flagship store. Located in the heart of the West End, at 198 Regent Street, London W1, the store, which showcases Juicy Couture’s apparel, accessories, fragrance and jewellery, comprises 2,375 square feet (230m2) arranged over two main floors and a mezzanine level.

Fast-paced and fun, this project was a breath of fresh air for London based architectural lighting consultants Paul Nulty Lighting Design (PNLD). Working in collaboration with Juicy Couture’s creative team and concept architect, MRA Architecture & Interior Design, PNLD developed a lighting concept that reflects Juicy Couture’s updated brand aesthetic. Led by Juicy Couture’s President and Chief Creative Officer, LeAnn Nealz, this highlights the couture elements of the brand, while retaining the label’s flamboyant LA style.

The interior concept and furniture design created by MRA combines grand details and modern glamour with a playful spirit and PNLD worked with MRA to create an integrated lighting scheme where the boundaries between architecture and lighting are blurred.

The bronze storefront dates back to the 1920s and is one of the few remaining originals on Regent Street. From here visitors enter the main retail space and are greeted with a highly decorative environment where a striking Italian marble chequerboard floor combines with unique over-sized furniture and intricate plasterwork mouldings to create the impression of a lavish entrance hall to a luxurious salon. Throughout the store the lighting design picks up on such details reinforcing the brand’s aesthetic principles by highlighting the fine detailing and craftsmanship used in the new elements, while enhancing the character of the Grade II listed building.

Paul Nulty, the Head of Practice at PNLD, explains: “There might be a trend for dark, high-contrast store design, but Juicy Couture’s flagship store shows that the era of the ‘bright’ retail environment is still with us and that this can be achieved within an energy efficient scheme.”
The listed building presented its own set of restrictions, such as limited ceiling recess depth. Ceiling mounted spotlights were therefore kept to a minimum and where possible plaster-in fittings from Flos’s Soft Architecture range, supplied by Atrium, were used to blend new fittings into the existing fabric. LED lighting from LightGraphix, acdc and iGuzzini is integrated into the bespoke furniture and joinery, while light boxes by Inox, on the underside of the ornate joinery panels, ensure the merchandise on the hanging rails below is illuminated successfully and that the spill light contributes to the soft airy ambience of the space.

The focal point of the ground floor lighting scheme is the chandelier designed specifically for the Regent Street store. Conceived by Juicy Couture, MRA and PNLD and manufactured by Prop Studios, this is generously scaled to suit the double-height space. Comprising a central ‘candelabra’ dripping with crystals, encircled by a handmade plaster oval ring  - a contemporary take on the ceiling rose – it accentuates the double height space, while providing key lighting positions. The candelabra is fitted with LED candle lamps that provide visual sparkle and interest, while the plaster ring incorporates adjustable Flos spotlights to provide accent lighting to the displays below. Cold cathode (from acdc) located inside, illuminates the ceiling, providing a bright and airy aesthetic and soft, general ambient light.

The cash/wrap desk, containing glazed display vitrines, is designed to evoke a traditional store counter. Behind the desk, a feature wall with ornate full-height plaster palm trees and a theatrical pink taffeta curtain creates a backdrop for a neon Juicy Couture logo. Opposite the cash desk the bespoke palm trees feature again in a display wall that shows apparel set against a pink glass backdrop, cutting through the decorative plaster. Floor recessed uplights (from LightGraphix) illuminate the full height palm trees that line the space and express the detail of the moulding.

Bespoke brass and mirror tables and shelves showcase smaller accessories and, around the staircase, jewellery is displayed in mirrored vitrines, which also follow the wider store concept of the panelled salon. In the desk, vitrines and display walls, multiple LEDs from acdc, create sparkle and movement within the space and ensure the jewellery and accessories appear resplendent in their glazed cases.

“The lighting is discreet, yet interesting,” comments PNLD Associate Ellie Coombs, “with a multi-layered lighting approach ensuring that many light sources ‘build’ the light levels and that emphasis is not placed on any one source.”

At the back of the ground floor and on the mezzanine level, where Juicy Couture’s ‘Bird’ collection is displayed, the traditional panelled wall detail is given a modern lift with integrated linear LED lighting from iGuzzini. This highlights the moulding and ensures the lighting of the vertical surfaces balances the daylight at the front of the store, while maintaining the bright aesthetic on the mezzanine, where the ceiling height is low. Additional LED lighting supplied by Architectural Light Works, integrated into the hanging rails, ensures the merchandise remains the focal point.

On reaching the basement retail floor the customer’s attention is immediately drawn to a library-inspired display of Juicy Couture’s iconic tracksuits. This track wall is illuminated by vertical runs of point source LEDs from LightGraphix integrated into the joinery, thereby ensuring merchandise is well-lit and allowing for flexibility in the shelf locations and display.

Consistent lighting treatments connect this space with the floors above, with the main feature being the illuminated pink glass screen that wraps around the space. Cold cathode is used to wash light the panelling behind the screen which illuminates the glass and gives a new, modern view of the decorative plasterwork behind it.

The changing rooms combine full length edge lit mirrors with high-level lighting, which is soft, sophisticated and flattering while providing good facial modelling and colour rendering.

Outside the changing room, wall-lights give the space a residential feel and the pavement lights above have been given the ‘Juicy’ treatment with pink uplights that can be seen from the street. Long-life and low-energy luminaires improve maintenance and energy efficiency and the lighting control system reduces light levels at night, saving energy and lamp life. The total installed load is 35W Sq/M and this reduces to an operational load of around 25W Sq/M. Stephanie Srivastava, Design Director at MRA, sums up the scheme’s success: “The lighting solution combines seamlessly with the architecture and interior design to create a store with all the modern glamour of an LA boutique and a sense of fun and elegance that sets it apart. Close collaboration between PNLD and MRA, and a client that was as enthused about the design possibilities as we were, ensured its success.”

The project demonstrates that a bright, vibrant retail environment can be created, while minimising energy used for lighting.


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