~ The Regent Street Windows Project 2012// RIBA collaborations

Driving past Regent Street this morning to in an effort to see the architectural window installations that line Regent Street as part of the RIBA(Royal Institute of British Architects) London Regent Street Windows Project.  
The project was introduced by RIBA in 2010 to encourage shoppers along Regent Street from Piccadilly Circus to Oxford Circus as it was originally intended by the architect, John Nash. RIBA engages a group of London based architects and pairs them with retailers including: Banana Republic, Bose, Reiss, Ferrari, Anthropologie, Folli Follie, Moss Bros and T. M. Lewin to create a collection of architect designed shop window installations.  
This year the theme was ‘Play’ and additionally architects had specific guidelines from the retailers as to what the installation should represent. Each architect is challenged to create a spatial installation that reflects their retail partner's brand, as well as their own practice, while also responding to the overarching theme. See photos of all the installations here, and of the Regent Street launch party here.

'Bose’s product is an exceptional experience of sound. Zero Zero’s installation, Co-Mute, rises to the challenge of expressing this in a visual way.'
Co-Mute at Bose

Co-Mute by 00:/ for BOSE
| With the design for Bose 00:/ architects wanted to visually represent the products without just displaying the products on a plinth or shelf. They wanted to convey an experience of sound in Co-Mute installation based in iconic visual setting of an Underground tube carriage and audio environment of london underground. Sounds resemble the noises and voices on the approach to the tube to Oxford Circus station, but then allows visitors to block it out, using Bose’s acoustic noise-cancelling headphones. |
The installation invites the customers to come in, plug in and play. It is constructed in CNC-cut laminated plywood coated in white. The cutting took 1 day and the assembly half a day. Budget for the installation £3000.

'Each frame took an average of 10 hrs to ‘weave’ and required approximately 1 km of waxed cotton string.'
frames sit in the workshop before installation

Delvendahl Martin Architects for Moss Bros
Delvendahl Martin Architects' proposal explores the possibilities of the Moss Bros shop windows by distorting the perception of depth and perspective as viewed from the street.
This will be achieved by using hundreds of cotton strings to stitch the edges of the window space to form a series of seemingly floating voids, where the three main strands of Moss Bros products will be displayed. The material expression of the cotton strings will recall the raw materials of garments, the loom-based manufacturing process of cloth and the craftsmanship of the Moss Bespoke service.  
Budget for this installation was £3 000.

Mixing the theme of 'play' with TM Lewin|'s brand concept of 'performance', Liddicoat & Goldhill's| London skyline plays host to a cluster of serene origami balloons. Using the shirtmaker's crisp folding and cutting techniques, fabrics in multifarious patterns and hues will be reshaped into high-flying lanterns.

Banana Republic gave a lot of freedom to Ushida Findlay Architects. They were also assigned a generously spacious window in which they created a splash-like form that captures a frozen moment in time. It was made from melted eco-resin combined with plastic animal toys. It aims to revoke childhood memories of play whilst representing Banana Republic’s Safari collection. Budget for this display was £5000.

Ferrari’s window, in partnership with Felix & Merlin, represented a turbulent pattern of test Ferrari Wind Tunnel one of first wind tunnels ever built to experiment with aerodynamics of their products and vehicles. The outline of iconic formula 1 and Gran Truismo car made from perspex is lit up by red light. In both outlines a red cloth is blown along the vehicles to represent smoke used to see the path of the wind in the wind tunnel.

With Reiss’s design by De Matos Ryan, the aim is to create a playful and kaleidoscopic space within the depth of the window that blurs the traditional distinction between passerby and mannequin. In doing so it hopes to affect a momentary and surreal daydream, full of aspiration and reflection. The retail 'Hall of Mirrors' will also playfully present a periscopic insight to the otherwise typically concealed grade 2 listed interior and shop beyond. Participants both inside and out will find themselves caught in a perceptual conundrum.

Grot Scott worked with Anthropologie to create a geometric, colorful, hedge-like form to resemble patterned and printed designs of the retailer. Twisted vertical timber slats, coated in yellows and greens are repeated throughout the window and hug the mannequins. The installation was constructed by Anthropologie's own window dressers in the workshop they have instore. The assembly took 1 week and it was conducted in front of the customers. The Budget for this design is £400.

Studio Egret West teamed up with Folli Follie and came up with a playful smoke-like rings which suspends a variety of retailers products. The organic shapes of the installation artistically leads the eye to the back of the store. The project ends on 6th May but this design might be kept by Folli Follie as it works with the companies image and draws shoppers attention to the products included in the window display. The architects achieved great design coming under budget and spending £6000.

A list of the participating stores:
Banana Republic - Ushida Findlay Architects and Visitor Studio
Ferrari - Feix & Merlin
Bose - Zero Zero
Reiss - De Matos Ryan
Folli FollieEgret West
TM Lewin - Liddicoat & Goldhill
AnthropologieGort Scott
Moss Bros - Delvendahl Martin Architects

Via regent street online