New retail concept
A unique Samsung concept space has opened at King’s Cross, London, using over 1500 sqm of ‘Urban Style’ tiles from Domus in a bespoke format for use on a raised floor system.
This new brand showcase blends local heritage buildings with futuristic architectural details to create a flagship retail and venue space. The 20,000sq ft. space blends innovation and local culture into its design to create a place of discovery for guests. The internationally renowned London-based Heatherwick Studio has reimagined London’s formerly derelict Victorian warehouses just north of King’s Cross St Pancras, now known as ‘Coal Drops Yard’, into the ‘kissing’ rooftops.
Fusing pioneering design with local heritage
The external design extends the inner gabled roofs of two heritage rail buildings from the 1850s, with a new, technical structure to form a floating upper level. The studio’s design includes staggered glass panels which flood the space with natural light, illuminating the Samsung store, which boasts iconic views of the retail district and beyond.
For the interior, Samsung collaborated with local studios Brinkworth, KSS, and Portview to create an innovative retail / venue space centered around flexibility. For this purpose, everything inside the space can be easily adjusted for guests to discover new experiences. The space boasts a monolithic ceiling which is adaptable in height and un-grouted flooring made up of adjustable porcelain stone from Domus. Local design studio KSS specified Domus’ Urban Style dark grey / brown porcelain stone tiles for their high colour and texture variation, which provides visual interest across the expansive floor area.
To enable these standard 10mm tiles to be used on a dry-lay system, Domus created a bespoke technical product especially for this project, whereby two tiles were ‘double-bonded’ together to create a 20mm piece. In addition, a cork backing and PVC edge bonding were added to each piece. The outer edge PVC bonding has an essential anti-shock function to reduce friction between adjacent slabs, and also facilitates the lifting of the slabs once the tiles are installed, allowing Samsung to easily move the tiles and access and adjust the wiring of electrical products in the store. The cork backing ensures equal distribution of weight / impact, and provides acoustic insulation.
Bespoke flooring product
Because the store sits within the ‘floating’ upper level bridge section of the upper floor of the building, under the iconic ‘kissing point’ of Coal Drops Yard, there are strict weight parameters with the flooring itself. The weight of the bespoke product created had to be under 50kg per SQM. This was tested at the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), an independent test facility, to verify that the bespoke product could take the weight required.
Elsewhere, a combination of materials has been used throughout the space, including stained oak, concrete and mirrored metals offset with soft booths and upholstery with steel seating – a nod to London’s infamous recording studios and underground network. It features bespoke industrial concrete furniture designed by Brinkworth, which can be easily configured to create an auditorium set-up for up to one hundred guests, and pieces by up-and-coming British designers Lily Pearmain, Helena Lacy and Tom Dixon.
Tanya Weller, Director of Samsung Showcase
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