“An aspect of contemporary culture, derived from the immediate and continuous emotional exchange between millions of people throughout the world, is the search for an end to the hostile relationship between men and nature. We have an unconscious desire to experience marvels, feel pleasure, to live in a regenerated environment, an environment that also reinvigorates us. This is a common reaction to modern urban life, living in cities that are always growing larger, hotter, more crowded, and more homogeneous: an emotion derived from our perceived imbalance in the relationship between living space and nature. Why then not allow the space to talk, permitting nature, with its fragile equilibrium, to take back the urban environment? Our belief is that in a world where man has taken possession of nature, the process can be inverted and nature can return to manifest itself across the base elements with large green walls, waterfalls, and with fire. This is the reference point for the new Replay concept”. Roberto Baccioni, Simona Bianchi
An exciting space in the heart of the city centre, where nature has reappropriated the internal environment to offer the visitor a moment to breathe, both physically and mentally: this is the newly refurbished Replay flagship store Barcelona in Passeig de Gracia, designed by Studio10 and completed in June 2011. The commission to redesign the store followed Studio10’s highly successful development of the new Replay retail concept in 2009 with their first new prototype store for the brand in Florence. Part of this philosophy involves to giving new life to the spaces and the existing architectonic elements in full respect of their origin and their history. Located in a historic building dating from the 18th century, the challenge was to deliver a modern retail space that achieves a symbiosis with the existing architectural fabric. The redesign of the 800m² store was therefore very delicate.At the street entrance, the visitor enjoys a unique perspective: a view that extends all the way to the rear of the store, and evokes the traditional driveway used by carridges to bring the gentry to the internal courtyard. Referencing the historic tradition of the noble city buildings, the entrance was conceived as a garden, with two hanging garden walls and two waterfalls at each side. Studio10 were aided by the expertise of Vertical Garden Design who devised a planting scheme with species particularly adapted for low light conditions. In the case of the Barcelona store, the internal environment was conceived as a domestic setting, for the visitor it is a home away from home. From the entrance lobby open up two lateral halls where people are invited to relax and enjoy the calm away from the traffic outside. The visitor is surrounded by comfortable seating, leather armchairs and sofas, and antique furniture that evoke the language of a living room. In the heart of the store is an internal courtyard where a steel framed glasshouse plays host to the “Denim Bar”: the place where the diverse range of jeanswear items that characterises the brand are displayed. From here one can appreciate another hanging garden in the external space at the rear of the courtyard. The design of the courtyard wall in steel blocks takes its references from the shoe walls first designed by Studio10 for the Replay store in Milan. In the Barcelona store, however, it becomes the stage for an explosion of lush green foliage.