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Shoebaloo, a Shoe Store with a New Dimension Executed in HI-MACS® by MVSA Architects

Elegance, transparency, and technological ingenuity” are the characteristics shared by the designs of MVSA Architects, famous for their modern approach and minimalist designs. These same qualities are clear in Amsterdam’s new Shoebaloo store.

Distinguished Dutch architecture firm MVSA Architects turned to HI-MACS® to realize one of their latest creations, the new flagship store for Shoebaloo, the prestigious Dutch luxury shoe and accessories company. Located in the heart of Amsterdam, at number 5 on the central Koningsplein square, the store was opened on 27 November 2014. This wasn’t the first time MVSA Architects had worked with Shoebaloo. Hartog Streim, founder of this renowned brand, had already chosen the firm on other occasions to design the majority of its boutiques, such as the ones in Rotterdam and Utrecht. Shoebaloo’s stores are distinguished by exceptional interior design with an elegance that reflects the brands on display. “Seeking innovation both in the design as well as the plan and its execution” is the premise that the architect Robert Meyer and project leader Harry van den Berg have reflected in creating the project, as those responsible for the futuristic design of this distinctive Shoebaloo store. The use of cutting-edge HI-MACS® acrylic stone clearly represents an innovative vision and commitment to using advanced materials that match the business’ luxury aesthetic.

Functionality and user comfort are the responsibility of the architect. In that sense, both the design and the choice of materials have to be in harmony with the possibilities of the project, as well as the aim of highlighting the product on display. For MVSA Architects, creating a quality public space is a fundamental aspect, and sustainability means much more than a quick routine when it comes to working. The high durability and resistance of HI-MACS® also fit in perfectly with the Dutch studio’s philosophy of creating spaces that are able to respond to the changing demands of users and, above all, that stand the test of time. The acrylic stone was also ideal for creating the trademark waves in the store’s interior, thanks to its extraordinary thermoformability, seamless joints, and smooth feel. Moreover, HI-MACS® was chosen for the many properties that make it ideal for this setting: its surface is non-porous and impermeable, easy to join, clean, and maintain – all qualities that give it an additional added value. The historical center of Amsterdam is characterized by an interwoven structure of individual plots, which is why this Shoebaloo store has an open storefront on the first floor of the facade, flanked by two narrow Belgian bluestone piers that reinforce the individuality of the building. Unlike the majority of the other Shoebaloo stores, with a closed, mysterious display window that reveals little of what lies behind, the concept of this new store is a world that seems open and transparent to the outside. The glass front has an elliptical bright white display window where the models are displayed, which gradually transforms into two openings that, from the street, look into the store.

The design of Shoebaloo’s Koningsplein store features a unique retail concept that suits the high-end designer shoes and accessories on display. Creating a radiant, welcoming space, more than just a store, Shoebaloo offers a spatial experience where shoes emerge like precious treasures. On the inside, a dynamic play of lines emerges from the display window, forming curved surfaces with different heights and dimensions and integrated lighting, where the shoes are displayed. The store comprises two elliptical spaces that gravitate towards each other in the center. At the rear is the counter and a large vertical elliptic vitrine, as well as a smaller display that houses accessories. The freestanding mirrors and seating elements were custom-designed.

The sinuous walls are clad with HI-MACS® acrylic stone in the Alpine White shade. Continuing the play of lines in the walls, the displays are fashioned from thinner layers of translucent HI-MACS® Opal White, backlit with LEDs. The floor is composed of book-matched marble slabs, with two ellipses of white marble featuring black veins. The middle section where the elliptical spaces begin to merge is articulated in reverse, in black marble with white veins. The dark ellipse ceilings feature a pattern of fluid, bright, glowing lines representing a starry sky. “Offering solutions thanks to the opportunities provided by innovation”, the designs of MSVA Architects stand out for their structural transparency, technical ingenuity, and the use of inspiring materials. For the Dutch studio, a good project is one that is sustainable, lasting, and comfortable, qualities that are represented by HI-MACS® acrylic stone. These are the reasons why the same importance is given to both the aesthetic and functional quality, from the initial design down to the smallest finishing details. This is all embodied in Shoebaloo’s new Koningsplein store, an attractive, curious space that takes you to the future thanks to the dominant white and elliptical forms that characterize it.

INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROJECT Project: SHOEBALOO, Koningsplein 5, Amsterdam Design: Roberto Meyer, MVSA Architects, Amsterdam Project lead: Harry van den Berg Project team: Jutta Groosman, Jurgen Codfried, Mark Ohm, Ana Carmen Gutiérrez Narvarte, Roberto Bonilla (model maker) Installations adviser: Wichers & Dreef, Badhoevedorp Contractor for interior: Smeulders Interior Group, Nuenen M&E engineer: Kersten Retail, Elst Facade: Bouwbedrijf De Vries en Verburg, Stolwijk/A Tre Natuursteen, Hoofddorp Lighting: Aerts Lighting, Eindhoven (store)/Ansorg, Ouderkerk a/d Amstel (display window) Floor: A Tre Natuursteen, Hoofddorp Ceiling: Stretchdesign, Amsterdam Miscellaneous: Baars & Bloemhoff (HI-MACS® supplier)/Bone Solid, Bergeijk (HI-MACS® application) Area: 81 m² (GFA) Final design: November 2013 Construction: September–November 2014 Completion: November 25, 2014 Photos: © Jeroen Musch Material: HI-MACS® Alpine White and HI-MACS® Opal Information & images by courtesy of HI-MACS® Read more news related HI-MACS® published at Infurma Visit the HI-MACS® website
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