Store Angle

By Jo Phillips

Texture, texture is emotive, colour is the same, as is, a natural material. Organic shapes and lines inspired by nature, all these elements have an almost subliminal positive effect on us. We feel safe, cocooned and relaxed. These are many of the elements at play in the work of Chilean architect Radic Santiago who has collaborated with Sarah Burton on shops for Alexander McQueen. Read here, how the two came together to create a new dawn of the shopping experience in Store Angle.

Sarah Burton creative director of fashion brand Alexander McQueen fell in love with a rather unusual house in the forests of Vilches in Chile called the right angle house, a jutting open-plan construction, formed from wood, concrete and granite. This inspired her to contact the architect Radic Santiago in order to collaborate on shops for the brand.

Alexander McQueen known to redefine luxury and the use of raw materials mixed with the finest craftsmanship in the fashion industry as well as technological innovation. With this in mind, when Burton began thinking about a new retail space, her mind wandered back to the images she saw of the Right Angle House.

Smiljan Radic is an internationally recognised Chilean architect of Croatian heritage. With a distinctive approach to form, materials, and natural settings, Radić mostly builds small- to medium-sized projects that flirt with the notion of fragility.

As he was the architect for the Right Angle House Sarah Burton commissioned him to create shops with the same values for McQueen stores He bought a new store concept to life alongside his sculptor wife Marcela Correa who created art inside the Right Angle House.

Radic had never worked on creating a retail space before, he took charge of working on the Old Bond Street in London. The Right Angle House is made from three main materials: wood, concrete, and granite and so these materials were translated into the new flagship shop. At the centre of the store lies rock and tree sculptures by Marcela Correa which bring nature drama and life to this most unusual of shops. The geological, natural time layering’s offer a new ambiance, and new complexity to this space.

On the surface, this is a store about texture emotion, and materials alongside luxury and craft. All these elements reflect the architect and the designer. But never forget as a first of its kind, it sets the bar of rebellion in the world of customer experience. It is its own design, stands outside of the norm. Just as the brand always has and always will.

The rock and roll element is not in the aesthetic but in choosing a home designer to create shops it is.

The construction process of McQueen’s flagship is now celebrated in a short film, which flits between Radic’s Santiago studio and the Right Angle House in Chile, and Central London.

If you loved reading Store Angle then read open notes here.