Set in Covent Garden's iconic Drury Lane, Shunji is Director Shunji Watanabe's newest venture.
Following the initial stages, in which we visited and reviewed several properties with the client to assess the feasibility of an implementation of the desired space layout in buildings of all periods, we proceeded to find a considerate way in which to convert the retail shell on a brutalist building.
On this occasion, our work also extended to the branding and website design.
Location: Drury Lane, London
Mural: Robin Signs
Building Control: Mullee Associates
Set at one of London's most iconic streets, home to London's oldest theatre, the Theatre Royal better known as Drury Lane since the seventeenth Century, the shell on the ground floor of a 1972 Geoffrey Spyer & Partners' building had most recently been home to a health shop.
The unit, split in two levels, has a generous volumetry and a square plan on two levels interconnected by a beautiful 1970s concrete spiral stair. Rather than fighting the existing architecture, our proposal for the refurbishment focused on implementing the client's programme without altering the existing features.
With over twenty years experience in the industry, Japan trained Shunji worked eight years in one of Tokyo's most prestigious hair salons before arriving to London as part of his former studio's international team.
He has since been based in Mayfair where he has built a clientele which includes celebrities and has been part of TV commercials and editorial work.
The services provided by the client are customer-centric and bespoke and so are the many elements of the fit out .
From the reception desk and backdrop which doubles as a partition and storage to the coat hangers made out of copper pipes or the shelves supported by scaffolding brackets, everyday construction materials were used to create a sense of uniqueness.
Soft off white tones , combined with textures and accents in copper and brass create a calm backdrop to this creative studio and contrast with its grey exterior, emphasised to highlight its context and make the business stand out in a rather busy street.
The hand painted signage by Robin Signs adds the final touch and a softness the client was after.
The client came to us with a clear sense of the kind of brand they wanted to create and hence our worked focused on giving shape to their vision.
In the design of both the logo and the website, we listened to the client and focused our attention on achieving clarity: clarity of the brand, the domain, the way the services were conveyed and the way the website worked with most of its content being on a single page.