Evoking the past
Faust is the protagonist in a classic German legend and, of course, in Goethe’s famous poem, making a pact for his own soul with the demon Mephistopheles. This story reverberates in this small shoe store in Oslo, in the futuristic Barcode district. Snøhetta designed for Faust, a Norwegian high-end artisan shoe brand, a small “temple of the shoe”. The mystic sense that pervades this signature store takes one back to ancient times, to the age of artisan shoe-making. The aesthetic style was defined using a very specific color palette and selection of materials to highlight the brand’s quality, elegance and tactile sense. Every detail in the boutique recalls the atmosphere, setting and age of Goethe’s famous poem. The wooden furnishings - custom-made by barth - recall an old church, with a sequence of five arched niches that define the store, a tiny 20 sq. m rectangle. These niches, all the same size and running along a wall, are made of smooth concrete and custom oiled oak furnishings, with a brushed and milled finish. Of course, all the work was done by hand. Each niche has its own specific purpose, but together they provide, along one wall, all the elements needed for a true custom experience, including display space, advice and sales services. One niche is for the designer, housing all the necessary tools and materials; one is a space for customers to try on the shoes; one is a display space; and two are for storage. Additionally, three of the niches can be completely closed, with carved wooden doors with a sanded, brushed finish, to make an inbuilt cupboard. The diamond shapes on these doors, both projecting and recessed, add dynamism. A vintage mirror with a tinted effect on one wall multiples the arch effect, forming a play of perspectives that enlarges the space in a surreal expansion of such a small area. The imposing size of the niches, combined with the combination of colors and finishings in wood and concrete, dissolve into the darkness of the mirror to remarkable effect. Merely walking into the boutique is a truly evocative experience in which touch and sight are essential senses. As one visually takes in the niches, the wooden cupboard doors and the surfaces for sitting on, the feel of cold, smooth concrete seems ever present, but then gives way to the irregularity of the wood, with its projections and recesses, and the warmth of smoothed, oiled oak.
Via Julius Durst, 38 - I - 39042 Bressanone (BZ)
Tel. +39 0472 271900
E-mail: [email protected] - www.barth.it