The urban ski chalet vibe of this Montreal flagship provides a warm and cozy welcome
Over the last several years, the Canadian outerwear brand, Mackage, has been on track to build a network of 30 new stores, aiming to develop a presence in some of the world’s most prominent cities. With the launch of their latest store in Montreal, Mackage was presented with an opportunity for the brand to further evolve their iconic design, setting themselves apart from their competitors.
Interior Designers: Diego Burdi, ARIDO; Tom Yip, ARIDO
Design Firm: Burdifilek
Photographer: Ben Rahn, A-Frame Studio
Since the launch of their first store, the initial vision for the urban ski chalet encapsulated Mackage’s brand ethos and fueled its growth. By reinterpreting the brand’s established architectural heritage along the primary retail artery of Montreal, rue Ste. Catherine, Mackage took this chance to refine the brand experience and bolster its hometown legacy in the development of its first freestanding flagship store.
Manifesting the store’s driving concept on the heels of a major redevelopment of rue Ste Catherine, the design team took inspiration from the implementation of a new logo and graphics, laying the groundwork for a reinvigorated brand identity.
Upon first glance, the handsome elegance of the architectural facade gives little away to suggest revitalization, yet the interior is a contemporary reference to the brand’s visionary spirit. The architectural framework is protected by retaining original details and reinstating elements to highlight its lasting beauty. Changes in scale respect the rhythm and structure of the historic building by sitting quietly as a backdrop for products to shine. The old world charm is personified through the warm, textured layers of noble materials including Canadian oak, to impart an uncompromising quality and elegance to the new interventions.
To instill a sense of intimacy within the large volume of space, the new concept was established around the principle of compartmentalization. Transforming the space into a gallery for the brand collection, large windows showcase a series of boxed vignettes, punctuating the space at varying heights, as the design plays with scale to create visual interest. Stepping inside each vignette to shop the collection creates an intimate, cocoon effect for shoppers to experience the brand promise.
Raising the standard for how brands can pay homage to their Canadian heritage without relying on traditional “Canadiana” themes, this sophisticated interior appeals to a global-minded, fashion-forward audience with a level of discernment that is both approachable and active in elevating brand perception.
The European nero marquina herringbone floor set against the existing stonework in the heritage building, exposed structural beams, and lightly wire-brushed oak plank cultivates a style sensibility with a sense of quiet luxury.
Splashes of black nero marquina marble, and oversized mirrors, accented with brushed bronze and dark metals, gives the impression of reserved sophistication to the palette. Purposefully manicured compositions grace the neutral space, where rich hues found within the striking photograph of a flipped iceberg by Alex Cornell floods the space with warmth.
Mackage sets itself apart from its competition along this street, establishing a luxe atmosphere designed to flourish on the high energy of its prime location, destined to become a landmark in the retail epicentre of the city.
This project was awarded an ARIDO Award of Excellence in 2019.
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