Conversion of a young men's fashion store — Schusterstraße 1, 79098 Freiburg, Germany — 440 m² — 2015 — Spezialhaus für Herrenkleidung GmbH

Tart freshness

Entering S1, you might be reminded of an old Berlin building that's never been renovated. The sales levels on the ground floor and first aboveground floor have the patina of staged decay. On some shelves, the paint is peeling; faded graffiti adorns the walls and brick is showing through under the plaster. On the ceilings: areas of lightly yellowed stucco. Conventional is so yesterday! S1 is today: Cool and rough, provocative – while still clear and consistent in its message. Since 1993, blocher partners has been collaborating with Kaiser. Its accomplishments include the Redesign of a Young Women's Fashion Store.

On the ground floor, the house brand embraces the brands Superdry, Boss Orange and Scotch & Soda. Greige stone tiles show off details – from doodles on the walls to the specially developed system of water pipes held together by coarse thread. This design also forms the framework for the wall units, in which perforated metal plates serve as shelves. Adding flair to the interior are an old mail sorting cabinet – of course including the original subjects labels – and industrial lamps from the 60s. Another eye-catcher is the leather table – more sculpture than display furniture – which, like the accompanying lone leather chair – is reminiscent of 70s style. In the dressing rooms: wildly patterned wallpaper, peeping out from under the plaster, matching the rust-coloured carpets and wooden chairs. Industrial details combine with shabby chic. A store that fits its target group: young, casual, cosmopolitan.

A playground of the young bohème generation

The first floor is an hommage to the Art Deco; a style that combines elegant forms, sumptuous materials, ornamental patterns, and sensuous themes. But it also reflects the giddy high jinks of the Roaring Twenties: a stylistic movement expressing a way of life – somewhere between dandy-hood and rebellion.

And that was the perfect look for the young male clientèle of Kaiser S1 in Freiburg: hypnotic patterns to contrast with subdued washes of color and fine fabrics as the playground of the young bohème generation. One indisputable eye-catcher: the lush glasshouse in front of the windows, its green foliage artfully popping out through structural glass.

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