To stay modern, clothing retailer D.H. Evans recently underwent a near-total change of identity that included an 18-month, $36 million physical renovation and a name change to House of Fraser (the name of its parent company). "We decided to change the name to House of Fraser because it's synonymous with the style of all our new stores," says Neil Hillier, project manager for in-store development at the London-based retailer.
Kinnersley Kent Design (KKD, London) nearly gutted the seven-story Oxford Street building, from the fifth floor down to the basement. To enhance a sense of spaciousness, the firm created a lighter, airier, more open store, with an air-conditioning system working on the principle of air displacement. Because the ducts don't run across the ceiling, designers could increase the ceiling heights. Previously covered-up windows were exposed, providing a needed bath of natural light.
A new escalator system increased visibility and modernized the circulation flow between floors. Open-sell introduced into the ground-floor cosmetics hall frees up the space from clutter-inducing counters and tables. The ground floor was also the site of a new casual Roux Express, while on the third floor an Albert Roux Café coexists with the classic womenswear department. Additonally, a new young women's fashion department called Therapy was also initiated by the KKD and House of Fraser teams.
Client Team: House of Fraser, London
Design Team: Kinnersley Kent Design, London -- Glen Kinnersley and Michael Kent, principals
Lighting Consultant: Minds Eye, London
Suppliers: Shedload, Buckinghamshire, U.K. (audio/visual); Designtex, London (fabrics, wallcoverings); PPM, Birmingham, U.K. (fixtures); Brinton, London (carpet); Reed Harris, London (stone); Hewettons, London (timber); Rockdrill, London (furniture); Signwise, Glasgow, Scotland (graphics); Concord, London (lighting fixtures); House of Fraser visual department, London (mannequins and forms, props and decoratives)
Photography: Carlos Pominguez, London