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store architecture

Based in South Africa, BHH represents top global watch and jewellery brands. The studio was engaged to develop a new retail design and brand identity for the company, which would be showcased at the flagship store on the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.

The redesign features internal architecture advanced with a truth to materials, alongside core BHH principles of modernity, precision, and restrained luxury. The boutique was developed in collaboration with Tyen Maysten of Phase 3 Architecture, and Ali Esen Studio. Klein Concepts was appointed as our local architect in South Africa.

The goal was to establish BHH as the curator for a broad range of luxury Swiss watchmakers and French and Italian ateliers, which are presented alongside anchor brand La Maison Chopard. Since the V&A Waterfront is frequented by both South Africans and tourists alike, the boutique would need to cater to a convergence of local and global cultures.

We chose to work with Phase 3 on the architectural design because of their conceptual strength and their ability stretch our material palette and variety. Together, we investigated myriad materials and textures, eager for a spatial fluency. We wanted a timeless, natural material that could enhance the watches in something of a sanctum exhibition space – and stone emerged as the ideal medium.

Stone has a unique history and character that compliments both centennial and new-age watch designs. In the main boutique, each brand is separated by two vertical stone fins that synergise with the terrazzo flooring; and the light, off-white hue of the stone works alongside our lighting design to showcase each individual timepiece. The fins extend to a subtle, vaulted ceiling that encloses an inviting and intimate space.

In collaboration with Ali Esen Studio, we initiated an intimate dialogue with BHH to understand the company’s guiding philosophies. This led us to weave simplicity, timelessness, and precision throughout the brand design.

Following these principles, we introduced a comprehensive suite of custom branding, including a fifty-millimetre milled and polished brass slab monogram.

We developed various iterations for the architectural flow that considered a customer’s spatial and retail experience. Ultimately, we opted for a systematic approach to the layout that would lend itself to seamless transformation.

The store was divided into two areas: one dedicated to Chopard, and one for the main boutique where each brand is given a defined parameter to prepare a unique vertical word that showcases the product. The two spaces connect to one another and link at a private lounge.

BHH is about natural tones, clean finishes, and organic textures, so we paid meticulous attention to detail to give the collateral a highly tactile experience. Furthermore, we designed and fabricated bespoke furniture pieces, such as upholstered benches and terrazzo sales tables.

Each initiative was intended to pinpoint core values of the BHH brand, with an unwavering truth to materials.

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