Through repetition this typical Regency shape gains optical complexity and with the play of sunlight and shadow turns the pattern into a deep surface texture. This surface is further enlivened by the latent makers’ marks of the casting process and the natural patination of the cast iron.
A more intimate discovery is to be made in the trio of small drawings by Paul cast directly into panels scattered across the façade. Seen obliquely it seems woven, like a fine cloth.
Curved windows project from the darkly textured iron as luminous vitrines, with a nod to the curved glass of the nearby arcades. A secret door of stained oak lies flush with the cast iron panels: the inverted carving of the timber recalls the mould and sand bed prepared for the molten metal.
The cast iron panels curve in to the recessed oak entrance door, a gently bowed iron step evokes worn away treads. Over time, the iron threshold will polish under foot, recording the life of the building in its material.
The interior is split into three main areas, each with an individual look and feel.
The women’s area is spacious, inspired by a cross between Mayfair’s rich art history and Barbara Hepworth’s studio. Elegant sculptural rails showcase the clothing collections and handsome cabinets display accessories. The walls of the shoe department are an injection of fun, decorated with over 26,000 dominos!
The furniture area has an open gallery style with clean, modern walls and limestone flooring. This space will change constantly to display unique and unexpected treasures; some original pieces and some that have been given a new lease of life with a Paul Smith fabric.
The building’s characteristic vibrant architectural features, the cobalt stairs and bright green suspended walkway for example, create a break between areas.
Window displays are changed frequently and feature clothes, art and furniture.
Paul Smith shop, Mayfair, London
Program: clothes and furniture shop
Design Team: 6a architects (façade) and Paul Smith (interior)
Façade Specialist: Montresor Partnership
Project Manager: KMB
Structural Engineer: Rodgers Leask