Spun, London, United Kingdom
Nick Leith-Smith Architecture + Design

Spun is a striking new sweet shop, a rich and playful confection of bold forms, strong colours and geometric, space age detailing.

Nick Leith Smith Architecture + Design were briefed with taking an established graphic identity and corporate colour scheme and bringing it to life in a strong retail environment. Spun’s vision is built around the process of sweet making, the skill of cutting candy, blending flavours and boiling and mixing ingredients.

NLS’s design evokes the hand-crafted aspect of sweet making, with bespoke fixtures and fittings designed to evoke traditional values and processes. These are paired with elements based on the elaborate technical components created by the brewing industry, formed from stainless steel and copper piping.

The result is a typical Victorian shop front that opens onto a world of mystery and interior delight, a new destination in the eclectic mix of the Covent Garden streetscape. From outside, the wares are placed enticingly on display to draw the customer inside.

The central element of the shop design is the pick and mix display. An array of multi-coloured sweets is set within an elaborate sculptural container, inspired by scientific models of the atomic structure, and built from stainless steel cylinders contained within a framework of copper pipes. A combination of matt and gloss tiles are arranged in a criss-cross geometric pattern, with the deep bevelled tile edges adding texture and shape to the walls. The counter is lit by four Jo Hammerborg pendant lamps, a reissue of a 1963 design finished in copper and resembling molten drops of chocolate.

A relatively small floorplan of around 400 square feet (37 square metres) requires careful storage. Storage units feature glass shelves suspended within the copper framework, set against the bistro-tiled walls. A 'library of flavours' is contained in shallow shelves arranged below the counter top, which are faced with glass display shelves containing jars of multi-coloured sweets. The floor is dark walnut to blend with Spun's signature purple-pink and the extensive use of copper, creating a delectably rich palette without descending into kitsch or cliché.

The overall effect is part laboratory, part wonderland, a design that reflects the fact that Spun's customers are no longer just children, but also office workers, tourists, passers-by and true aficionados of hand-made goods. Spun is designed with strong materials, a carefully considered visual language and meticulous craftsmanship, creating a place of surprise and delight.

Friday 06 Jun 2014

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