July 2015 saw Harvey Nichols close their original store in Birmingham to make way for a brand new concept store, in the heart of the new look Mailbox complex. Double the size of the stores’ previous incarnation which opened in 2001, Harvey Nichols were keen to create a concept store which portrayed the look of “controlled destruction”, as described by Shadi Halliwell, group marketing and creative director at Harvey Nichols.
Harvey Nichols worked in collaboration with architect and retail design specialists, Virgile + Partners, to create an unusual environment through technology and an eclectic approach to materials. “We aimed to break rules and challenge the predictable imagery and established principles that define luxury shopping environments,” clarified Carlos Virgile, director at Virgile + Partners.
With the design approved, Virgile + Partners enlisted the expertise and knowledge of Strata Tiles, to help source and produce custom-made concrete and marble pieces for the 45,000sqft store. Organisation and co-ordination was key in ensuring the material arrived within the deadlines set. Due to the speed of the programme, the material had to be delivered in just two months to enable the scheme to complete on time.
The concrete was manufactured by our exclusive partners, Ivanka, in two colours and three bespoke formats. 372 x 1118 x 1118 x 1490mm large trapezoids were produced, in the colour EG for the main sales floor, alongside smaller diamonds (372 x 372 x 372mm) and triangles (370 x 370 x 370mm) specially produced in the colour RG, for the smaller zones.
The selection of the Calacatta Vagli marble was a particularly important element for Harvey Nichols. “Representatives from Virgile + Partners and Strata Tiles visited the quarry to ensure the marble chosen conformed with the design specification set.” Neil Lutterloch, Sales Manager at Strata Tiles explained.
Once selected, the marble was produced in both diamond and triangle pieces, mimicking their concrete counterparts in both size and shape.
Combining both the concrete and marble presented a unique challenge as their manufacturing tolerances differed from one another. Strata Tiles worked closely with Virgile + Partners to provide advice on movement joints and to ensure both the concrete and marble modulated perfectly, creating a seamless look from one department to another.
The resulting installation of organic high quality classical finishes supplied, comfortably within budget, can add a level of sophistication to your next project.