The client’s brief for the new retail space located on Melbourne’s Driver Lane was clear: Monk House Design, the well established boutique fashion retailer, valued a non-conventional retail space and hoped to achieve a space that is minimal with maximum functionality. Flack Studio, was appointed for the task and the creative powerhouse has delivered so much more.
Representing Monk House Design’s second location, the retail space is situated in a heritage-listed space: the requirement to respect the cultural value of the building was matched by a similar desire to provide an environment that could echo the other Monk House Design store in Brunswick, and its own relaxed and inviting design philosophy.
Monk House Design represents both independent Australian and international fashion designers and offers patrons the opportunity to literally and figuratively invest themselves in their aesthetics. Acknowledging the essence of Monk House Design’s function, Flack Studio responded to the brief by providing a space that distinguishes itself from interpretations of retail as part of the mundane, instead viewing fashion as an articulation of the extraordinary.
While little could be changed in the building’s interior, every single change was made to calculated and great effect. As the creative forces behind Flack claim “We were fortunate that the existing interior embodied beautiful original features such as ornate cornices and decorative columns. To counterbalance these ornate features, it was important for us to keep the forms of our design monolithic, minimal detail and bold”.
While the design is almost regal, the burst of engaging colours seen in shades of soft pink and green, underscore the space’s inviting nature. The rich olive green velvet curtains outlining the change-room ‘pods’ also lend amazing weight to the otherwise playful surroundings while the 5-meter high space is lit by custom coloured ‘Step and Kick’ pendants from Volker Haug, ‘Tizio’ task lamps by Artemide as well as integrated linear LED lights on the base plinths of the store’s hanging rails.
Altogether, Flack Studio has constructed a space that is sophisticated, combining the innate luxury of a heritage-listed building with a minimalist sensitivity that highlights such luxury’s most essential elements. The result is effortlessly functional and elegant in a way that subdues its most dramatic features, as seen in details such as the blue mirror that purposefully disrupts the palette’s balance, to produce a confident, discrete but powerful look.