Monday, 21 January 2013

The Silent Room

Just looking at this space makes me feel relaxed, the lighting is soothing and the limited materials are subtle and restrained.  This is The Silent Room at Selfridges London, it's designed as a retreat from the sensory overload of the shopping experience all around.  Customers are encouraged to sit or lie on the benches and apparently people have been seen meditating and even praying.  It's amazing how interior design can really affect your mood.
This is not the first Silent Room for Selfridges however.  The founder Gordon Selfridge included a Silent Room when the store opened in 1909.  It's interesting that even back then when department stores were quite a new concept, that a space like this was conceived to entice customers to stay longer in the store.  With my experience with retail interior design, I can attest that every inch of the floor plan is precious, and expensive.  So bravo for Selfridges to invest in such a beautiful and thoughtful space for customers to enjoy.

I've recently become a Mum and have spent some time at Chadstone shopping centre recently to escape the hot hot days (along with the other Mums and old people!). So I am proof that with the lovely parents rooms and facilities, I spent more time there and a few hundred dollars on things I didn't really need.  Don't panic - they were on sale!
The Silent Room is built by London studio Alex Cochrane Architects with the idea to take your shoes off, follow the dark passage around with a single globe showing the way and just relax.  It's not intended to be totally silent but I could imagine the space would encourage you to speak softly and unwind.  A good place to just take a breather and then when you enter back into the chaos of the store you'll feel so good that you'll think those gold hi-tops are a great idea.  That's where they get you!

Found on dezeen

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