Birkenstock 1774 showroom occupies a classic Parisian apartment

Birkenstock 1774 showroom occupies a classic Parisian apartment
thierry
Wed 24/07/2019 – 15:07

Shopper Experience
Birkenstock 1774 showroom occupies a classic Parisian apartment

Footwear brand Birkenstock  create a showroom inside a grandiose Paris apartment, where shoes are displayed in living-room-style spaces.

(Author : Natasha Levy)

Nestled amongst the high-end boutiques that line Paris’ Rue Saint Honoré, Birkenstock 1774 is a dedicated space for the brand to present special projects and collaborations. It takes its name from the year that Birkenstock was founded in Germany.

The 170 square-metre showroom occupies a 19th-century apartment, complete with ornate panelled walls, stone fireplaces and wooden parquet floors. London-based studio Vinson & Co – who were charged with developing the showroom’s interiors – allowed these features to serve as a backdrop to the brand’s shoes, simply adding a selection of new and vintage furnishings to complete the space.

« Birkenstock’s brief was to keep the showroom simple, full of light, neutral and with handmade finishes – they wanted a space that gives them flexibility, » Nick Vinson, founder of the studio, told Dezeen. « I deliberately left the patina of age visible – to me these qualities are very consistent with a Birkenstock sandal, which age well. »

Birkenstock 1774 showroom occupies a classic Parisian apartment

An oak table perched on a wheat-coloured woven rug now centres what would be the apartment’s living or dining room. Various models of shoe are displayed on chunky, four-legged stools dotted around the room’s perimeter. A couple of pairs have also been placed intermittently on the dividers of a timber bookshelf by Italian designer Achille Castiglioni. The illusion of extra space is created by a floor-to-ceiling mirrored volume.

Doors lead through to an adjacent room that has been dressed in much the same fashion, except here the central table is surrounded by worn leather chairs created by Italian architect Mario Bellini in the late 1970s. A pair of Faye Toogood’s signature Roly-Poly fibreglass chairs also appear in this room, along with a wood-framed Chandigarh chair by Pierre Jeanneret that has a perforated cane back.

Even the apartment’s study has been used as a display area, where shoes are placed on cushioned bench seats by contemporary designer Simon Hasan. Other than the vases and ceramic pots that line the home’s sideboards, decor is largely provided by a series of textile artworks by embroiderer Geraldine Larkin. Each features abstract shapes made from jute and felt – a nod to the materials the brand uses for the soles and uppers of its footwear.

Birkenstock has previously collaborated with fashion designer Rick Owens to reimagine three of their classic sandal designs in unusual materials like calf hair and felt. Back in 2017 the brand also forayed into furniture design by launching a line of beds that adapted the same comfort principles as its shoewear.

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