Manolo Blahnik in Moscow

Manolo Blahnik store, Moscow, Russia, project and photo by Data Nature Associates

Data Nature Associates replicate Russian lace using Corian® solid surface in a glamorous design for the new Manolo Blahnik store in Tretiakov Plaza

Data Nature Associates has designed several international stores for the chic London-based footwear label Manolo Blahnik. The firm turned their creative vision to the brand’s new emporium in Moscow’s Tretiakov Plaza where they sought to re-imagine traditional Russian motifs within a glamorous contemporary scheme.

The concept was to introduce a contrast, displaying the collections in all their of-the-moment beauty while capturing the romantic charm of the classic Dacha cottage. This architectural homage was executed through a combination of ebonised wood cladding complemented by the delicate beauty of white Russian lace. This lace design was created in wall panels made with Corian® solid surface, the multi-talented, durable surface was has earned iconic status as a ‘must-have’ brand.

The Corian® panels create a softly feminine, almost fairytale effect, and form a striking backdrop against which to display shoe designs. The panels, created using CNC laser-cut technology, frame the main door and line the 15m catwalk style entrance. The cut-out lace effect adds a touch of discretion and mystery.

Nick Leith-Smith of Data Nature Associates explains the inspiration: “In Russian, the term lace or kruzhevo means ‘to encircle’, a process which initiated the design response to this location in the form of two encompassing boxes, one within the other. The outer box embodies the traditional Dacha element in its vertical wood screens separating the window displays from private seating chambers, whilst the inside box replicates the intimacy of lace with its panels made with Corian® surfacing material that defines the main display area and circulation zone. The gilded leaf motifs on the legs of the furniture and the floral lace effect further enhance the nostalgic theme. The shoes whimsically hang on the vertical timber screens as if climbing the soaring heights of the pine forests.

“Corian® solid surface was chosen for this application because of its ideal combination of ethereal translucency, structural rigidity without being too brittle, great tooling capabilities, and network of global supply and expertise in working with the material,” continues Nick.

About Data Nature Associates: Data Nature Associates is a design and architecture studio, Established in 2000 by Nick Leith-Smith and Kristina Hulsebus Blahnik. The studio focuses on creating practical innovative environments and buildings for its clients and end users. Our specific creative approach is based on a collaborative and research based process, the success of which has led to a diverse range of projects including: buildings, interiors, furniture, products and graphic design. Kristina Hulsebus Blahnik, MA(Cantab) AADipl ARB RIBA, studied architecture at Cambridge University and the Architectural Association. Nicholas Leith-Smith, BArch(Mac) AADipl, studied architecture at the Mackintosh School in Glasgow and the Architectural Association.

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