Alex Cochrane Architects / No Noise at Selfridges

If youv'e been down to Selfridges lately, you will have noticed the new installation by Alex Cochrane Architects titled the 'No Noise Room'. To be honest, if youv'e been shopping on a Saturday afternoon, it's a welcome relief from the crowds. Alex Cochrane Architects have worked for Selfridges previously with a fitout at the Men's Designer Department. A wonderful idea, a quiet oasis amoungst the noise, visual & audio. I love the way the space is indirectly lit & it's minimal interior.

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As we become increasingly bombarded with information and stimulation, the world is becoming a noisier place. In an initiative that goes beyond retail, we invite you to celebrate the power of quiet, see the beauty in function and find calm among the crowds.

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When we first opened our doors in 1909, Harry Gordon Selfridge created a Silence Room where busy shoppers could 'retire from the whirl of bargains and the build up of energy'. We think we need it now more than ever, so are bringing it back as part of our No Noise initiative.

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Designed by Alex Cochrane Architects, this reincarnation of the Silence Room has an insulated inner-sanctum, shielded from the noise and human traffic of the store.

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'Gordon Selfridge did a Silence Room many years ago, and sadly there're no records of what that room looked like so we did our own version of what the Silence Room might be,' Alex Cochrane

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'Our take from the beginning was that there was always going to be background noise and we really wanted to create a room that people can feel silent in regardless of that,' Alex Cochrane.

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After removing their shoes, visitors are channeled into a dark corridor with light bulbs hung in each corner to guide them around the back of the rectangular box and through a gap in the wall.

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Cream felt covering the walls, floor and seats helps to insulate some of the sound and provide comfortable surfaces to relax on once inside.

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'We’ve seen people sleeping there, meditating there. One person was seen praying there,' Alex Cochrane

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LED lighting hidden at floor level and behind the seating creates an ambient glow.

Services and ductwork on the ceiling remain exposed but painted black as a subtle reminder of the nature of the building.

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Photo - London Deisgn Journal

In collaboration with the Hayward Gallery four works by London-based artist Katie Paterson have been installed on street level and present her mixed media practice that includes the work 100 Billion Suns - a confetti canon which is set off everyday at 12pm.

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De-branded items at Selfridges - No Noise Marmite

The Silence Room was created for the store's No Noise campaign, which also includes the sale of limited edition products that have been de-branded.

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Katie Paterson - Light Bulb to Simulate Moonlight

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Dr Dre de-branded headphones installed in the window

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Heinz No Noise Baked Beans

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 Felt-lined 10  min meditation pods dotted around the store

No Noise at Selfridges London until 28th February 2012