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The new H&M shop is found in the busiest street of Barcelona, Portal de l’Àngel, in the building which was, until recently, the head office of the company Catalana de Gas. The previous building is a heritage of the bourgeois architecture from the end of the 19th century, and is the work of Domènech Estapà, an architect who was contradicted to the Modernista campaign and more prepared towards a neo-classical manner.
The building is so big about 1,720 square meters that the architect tried to run from monotony, thus the new layout would have rhythm. Not just a beat in the formal aspect, but also in the intensity with which each area is experienced. To achieve this, surprises are prepared, as well as changes of atmosphere, each with its own saturation, unlike from the former one. In this way, the route is more active, as each nook produces expectation.
This shop was also conceived as a laboratory. It is a flag ship, an insignia shop. A logistical laboratory in which we studied how to make a storeroom that would enable the rails to be continuously restocked. Shelves, rails and hangers, modules, Meccano ceiling fittings were designed bearing in mind the various sizes of the garments and the H&M accessories.In the entrance, we started an explosion of light, colour and movement, through the LED screens. This entrance works as a shop window, shop sign and access.
The three public rooms on the first floor of the building, which used to be the offices of the directors of Catalana de Gas, have been restored and are integrated into the shopping space, as they have been given a new use. In these three rooms, the contrast between old and new is more evident, as the wooden display cabinets, the chimneys and the original wooden dais have been preserved and share the space with the new metal furnishings.
The staircase and the dome are two very important features of the alteration. We have emphasised the stairwell, the emptiness created by the staircase. The new staircase that has been built is not as important as the stairwell through which the light from the dome that tops the building travels. This central atrium communicates the floors and allows the natural light to pervade the interior. The cone is a metaphor, a symbol of rising up into the heights, a spiral towards the sky to capture the light.In the new basement, sculptural features are integrated providing colour and identity to the space.
Architecture, interiors and graphic design: Estudio Mariscal
Area: 1.720 m2
Contractor: Dula Bau
Furniture and commercial equipment: Dula Ibérica
Structural engineering: nb35
Technical architecture and services: MC Arquitectura e Ingeniería
Leds (provider): BARCO
Leds (installation): SONO
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