Concepts and Ideas for Commercial Purposes
Archive 1997–2017: Exhibition | Interior | Project | Product

Desigual Shop Zeleste | Argenteria 65 | Barcelona | 2002

Desigual Shop is a commercial establishment in Barcelona. It occupies the premises where the mythical concert hall SALA ZELESTE was located for a decade, starting in the mid 1970s. Even though another business occupied the space after 1986, certain recognizable architectural elements from Zeleste remained. The concert hall left the area due to a need for more space and problems with the immediate neighbours, moving into a larger building in Poble Nou until it finally closed in 2001.

Considering the building has historical value, it will certainly be a complex and slow process to completely redo the space. The intention is to move the stairway used for the building’s residents, as it obstructs the entrance, as well as eliminating the double wall spaces that served as an acoustic barrier, with the loss of almost half a metre along the interior perimeter.

For these reasons the idea was to carry out a provisional installation which would allow the shop to be opened in just 2 weeks. The concept of appropriation and the fact of working on the space in terms of installation and not as a full-fledged interior design have given the codes and protocols of the project a functional character, allowing the intervention to be more effective, giving it a uniquely characteristic result. The complete renovation project is slated to be done later on with greater time and care.

The Backstage Effect
The installation divides the premises into two spaces, which in spite of being totally accessible have been conceived and employed in different ways. There is a central white space used for display and a dark blue perimeter space here conceived as the backstage. The lighting makes the perimeter space disappear even though it is physically present.
This dark space surrounding the display area is where the changing rooms are found, thus parasiting the structures of backlit glass bricks that were a characteristic feature of Zeleste, conserving their archeology by not allowing the commercial area to touch upon the walls.

With this layout the practical functions of the commercial space are set out in a more logical and innovative manner.

The panels separating the public from the private area work frontally as display elements for the product, while their opposite side, the backstage, features discreet stickers with images, including press clips from Zeleste, images of the construction of the installation, and informal representations of the brand in question.

Upon entering into the more "private” backstage area to try on a garment, the customer comes into subliminal complicity with the brand and acquires a new emotional status with it as well.

The Magnet Effect
The entrance way is conceived as a diorama and map of the brand. The map is made up of a large size poster-catalogue and a selection of garments attached to the wall with adhesive tape as samples in real size, making the diorama both stage and shop window. This logical-emotional combination has a complementary function and acts in itself as a mechanism to attract and invite customers into the interior.

At the end of the space in a separate room, I use a video a minute and a half long to personally request that visitors sign a petition to have the temporary installation be accepted as the final, permanent version.

Photo Inga Knölke 2002