Wanting to set the benchmark for boutique beverage stores in the Abu Dhabi area, the brief to ARRCC was to create a retail space that will be as renowned for its interior design as for its product offering. The client’s vision for the store was to offer an experience that would encourage customers to spend ample time in the store, enjoying the products as much as the surroundings. This called for a modern, on-trend, warm and welcoming interior that will remain timeless and elegant.
Adhering to the various restrictions on liquor trade, the design is inwardly orientated, incorporating a feature, fumed oak wall at the entrance which functionally serves as a visual screen. At the same time it also sets the tone for the luxury and sophistication that awaits within. The original shell measured 320m² with a ceiling height of 6m. ARRCC incorporated and maximised these measurements in the design concept. Integrating the store’s existing columns into the design naturally lead to a linear layout that informed the flow of the space. Upon entering, customers are lead to the spirits area, followed by the strategically placed wine cellar in the middle and then beers and ciders. With the most popular stock towards the back, customers are encouraged to walk through the store and enjoy the retail experience. Stock is only displayed around the perimeter of the store to allow for vast open spaces for tastings and events. The industrial-chic design of the store includes custom joinery that serves to not only celebrate the product on display but to add sufficient storage space. Timber cladding panels that add warmth and texture are in fact sliding panels for additional storage. Open shelves were designed to display product and storage items next to each other, adding interest to the displays.
The concrete floors were a considered addition to enhance the industrial feel of the store with patterns and textures in the walls and timber cladding adding richness and texture. As no external visual connection is allowed, and therefore no windows permitted, lighting was a very important consideration in the design – not just for the overall ambience but to optimally display the products. Custom in-shelf lighting was included and strategically positioned lights were added for mood and warmth. A feature cluster of cylindrical tube copper lights was placed in the wine cellar area to attract customers to this central part of the store. The colour palette and materials were chosen in line with the high-end design. Timber and marble features throughout and the colour of the shelving was chosen to hero the products it displays – white for the colourful spirits bottles, French oak for the wine cellar and dark/black for the beers and ciders. The exposed ceiling reveals conduit pipes and fire sprinklers that add not only character to the space but ties in with the warm atmosphere that was created.