Posts Tagged ‘Tom Dixon’

Habitat Regent Street Store

March 27, 2011

When the Habitat Flagship store in Regent Street opened in April 2006, it was hailed as another example of how art and design can enhance the surroundings of a space; a fact central to the mission of the Habitat brand. Respecting the architectural characteristics and the breathtaking original features of the building – a former cinema with vaulted ceilings and neo-Egyptian details – Tom Dixon, the non Executive Director of Habitat, who worked on the project, built a store around the cinema space, keeping intact (and restoring) every small detail. He even built an extension to the stalls in the form of a wooden structure, which was connected to the ground floor via the stare case at the centre of the store The result was a unique store: a 21-century environment selling affordable furniture and accessories, housed in an old cinema space restored to its former glory.

Almost one month ago, while walking past the store on my way to Carnaby street, I was saddened to see that the Habitat store was closing down. Huge, ugly banners were peppered on its window displays, informing of the unfortunate event. The place was full of people in search of a bargain and reminded me of a pirate looted-ship with items being scattered everywhere. In desperate attempt to find out why this was happening, I entered the store.

As I wandering up and down the aisles glancing at the battered shelves and unappetising signs of “Closing down” and “Sale”, guiltily trying to find an item on offer, I could not help but wonder what will become of the Habitat Regent Street store. Maybe a Gap or perhaps a Primark? An ill fitting departure from the character and charisma of its predecessor.

A small desk lamp and a wooden bus toy was what I could find I liked from the stock in a generous 30% – 50% markdown. And while I was going out,I clutched the bag with my newly purchased item and was confident enough that I had taken with me and saved a tiny bit of the store’s dignity.

Lambda.

[all images © LambdaPhage]

P.S. 29 May 2011: The old Habitat store in Regent Street will now become a Burberry store.