Au Pont Rouge, Saint Petersburg

Designed by: Cheungvogl Architects
For client: BTK Development Floor area: 1983.00 M² Year of completion: 2016
Nominated for: Innovation Award

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© Cheungvogl

Inside the spa and treatment areas, one room is dedicated to self-reflection and the art of selfies. The “Selfie Room”, a testing and sample room, creates a stage for visitors to feel like performers, models and directors of the self-image at the same time.

About the Project

Cheungvogl created an open exhibition retail space around a robotic system within the restoration of the 110-year-old iconic department store Au Pont Rouge in Saint Petersburg, Russia. In Au Pont Rouge, Cheungvogl creates a precedent to implementing a robotic system to choreograph new experiences that encompasses historical, architectural, technological and cultural values for visitors to enjoy spending time, interacting and exploring in the store. The physical shopping experience is tailored for visitors’ entertainment with hands-free comfort and efficiency that the automated system offers.

The exhibition space is freed from all trading operations and stocks, unfolding the potentials of creating a retail environment with enhanced spatial qualities and surprising experiences through alternative uses of space. While the external envelope of Au Pont Rouge is restored to its original state in accordance with local regulations, the sensitive internal upgrades of the historic icon is designed to enable the transformation of the department store into a new centrepiece for commercial, social and cultural life.

What’s unique about it

Au Pont Rouge enabled Cheungvogl to engage the idea of social and cultural relevance in a retail 'experiment'. As their fundamental design philosophy derives from the social and cultural implications of the use and qualities of physical space - especially in the digital age - the designers could employ robotic automated technologies to reinform and enhance the spatial experience and to re-create the social and cultural meaning of the historic structure and the urban context.

The project is the conceptual response to the systemic change in consumer behaviours. The role of the department store must adapt with the establishment of online stores - inevitably altering the traditional retail model, but also its urban context, where retail has alwys been the catalyst for urban activity and public life. By applying postmodern technologies, we are able to revert the process - instead of trying to keep up with changing communal patterns influenced by advancing technologies, Cheungvogl are able to create an ambiguous hybrid platform to influence public activity, while creating a socially, culturally and economically relevant precedence. This conceptual and associative plurality is one of the main focuses to create social catalysts.

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© Cheungvogl

The global shift towards online shopping and the reshape of consumerism has rendered many classical department stores and the retail model obsolete. On the brink of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which interlinks information technologies with automated processes in all aspects of life, there is an immediate need to rethink the core values of the future retail model.

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© Cheungvogl

The physical shopping experience is tailored for visitors’ entertainment with hands-free comfort and efficiency that the automated system offers. The exhibition space is freed from all trading operations and stocks, unfolding the potentials of creating a retail environment with enhanced spatial qualities and surprising experiences with alternative uses of space.

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© Cheungvogl

The translucent glazed panels pass by the facades without anchoring to the existing, creating a 100-meter-long gallery between the building façade and the interiors. The salon in its traditional sense, forms social gathering space that engages visitors to converse, redefine taste and spend time. Stretching along the periphery of the building, the salons filter daylight and city views across to the central atrium and connect the eight levels of the building with natural light.

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© Cheungvogl

The light industrial flooring and veil-like expanded metal ceiling reveals the support systems of the restored structural elements and newly integrated mechanical functions. Fixtures are simple in their aesthetics but highly technical in their detailing and manufacturing process.

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© Cheungvogl

Layered interconnected rooms defined by luminous interceptions allow spaces to flow into one another. The simultaneous visual connections and engagement between rooms and passages change the perception of space to inspire curiosity - to learn, observe, touch, and enquire through poetic senses.

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© Cheungvogl

The design respects the integrity of the architecture as a symbol of a progressive culture. It aims to interweave a subtle yet dynamic hybrid between the architecture and its context. Heavily damaged structural parts, the distinctive art-nouveau staircase, balustrades and windows are restored and repaired to its historical conditions. Original non-structural elements were destroyed or removed over the last century of factory use and abandonment.

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© Cheungvogl

The spa and treatment areas continue the simple materiality of the Au Pont Rouge Galleries, utilizing translucent glass, white resin and metal meshed ceiling. Translucent fixed and sliding panels are used to define openness and privacy between the scenic city views overlooking Moika River and the centre of the restored historical structure.

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© Cheungvogl

The space features a long mirror wall, reflecting in the background is a curved mesh that filters indirect lighting. The light is designed to illuminate the faces perfectly without shadows. Upon entry, visitor experiences a light tunnel with continuous reflections. Animating the self-reflection within the abstract context, one is driven and inspired to act, document and ultimately share the moment. The space merges the online and offline experience of visitors and brands.

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© Cheungvogl

While the external envelope of Au Pont Rouge is restored to its original state in accordance with local regulations, the sensitive internal upgrades of the historic icon is designed to enable the transformation of the department store into a new centrepiece for commercial, social and cultural life.

The robotic system in operation. It silently conducts all operational and logistical aspects in the background. Resourcing a mobile application to scan items to be added to the virtual basket and upon purchase, the robotic system brings the order to the point of sale or prepares the delivery to alternative locations. The classical trading process between patrons and sales is replaced by informative consultation with a strong focus on human interactions and intellectual exchange, setting new standards for services.

Location of project:
Credits:
Cheungvogl

Mace

Gint-M

Hankitek

Erco

Artemide

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