Interior designers and architects who have been delivering environments for some of the world’s leading companies since 2000, Shed work across the retail, leisure, workplace and exhibition markets and specialise in branded interior design. Here, RLI speaks with Nick Stringer, Co-Founder & Partner at Shed about some of the company’s recent projects and how their portfolio has developed over the years.
Shed’s vision is to create unique and branded interior design that is an extension of the company they are designing for. This is done by taking into account the unique space and environment they are working in, and turning it into something that stands out from the crowd.
The environment could be as exotic as a clifftop in Bali, or as unusual as a railway arch in East London. None of their solutions are off the shelf and as a result, the team is skilled at adapting to a range of creative briefs within the retail, leisure and hospitality industries.
“We have a proven design process that forms our thinking and involves our expert team of skilled architects, graphic designers, 3D modellers, artists and manufacturers to ensure we deliver exactly to a brief and create a memorable space that expertly serves its purpose,” says Nick Stringer, Co-Founder & Partner at Shed. “This approach has earnt us multiple awards since we started and given us international recognition. Today we are sought-after to design, develop and manage projects by major brands such as Harrods, Lotte, Shinsegae, Beymen and Chalhoub and we work in over 30 countries.”
Whilst their expertise is firmly in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors in which they began operations, over the years they have expanded to design in additional sectors where they have felt their design process crosses over intuitively. Designing creative workspaces is an example of this, where they have drawn on their hospitality and leisure experiences to make spaces that promote a healthy balance between work and play.
Stringer explains that last year the design world came back to life and consumers craved experiences and to rebuild connections with brands they knew and loved. Over the year the company designed and managed ten retail openings ranging from 2,000sq m to 30,000sq m in five countries.
A standout project was the 246,000sq m luxury department store Lotte in Dongtan. Launched last September, Shed conceived the unique retail design for three of the main floors and on each one created a memorable and distinct shopping experience that was deliberately tailored for an individual customer. The third floor of the store was dedicated to women’s contemporary fashion and here, while Lotte designed the outdoor space, Shed brought the outside world in by connecting retail and terrace landscapes through the use of natural materials and forms, all imagined through a luxury lens. The fourth floor featured both menswear and a children’s department, and Shed celebrated this divide by creating two distinctly different worlds connected by a liminal transition space called the ‘Gateway’. Finally on floor five which is anchored in the historic origins of sport, the narrative of the design was derived from the amphitheatres of the ancient Olympics.
Aside from their work in the retail sector, Shed also delivered the design of the Ulu Cliffhouse boutique hotel in Bali, with their brief to re-imagine a new generation of one-off destination venues that dance to the beat of their own drum, whilst highlighting the breath-taking clifftop setting 30m above Uluwatu Beach. As lead designer, Shed created a recipe of part beach, part natural and part jet set to deliver a hotel that rises above the rest in the Balinese resort scene.
They also put the crazy back into crazy golf at the Birdies Battersea site, tearing up the crazy golf rulebook and designing a course and environment that features oversized graphics, hot pink neon and a kaleidoscope graphic landscape next to the gigantic Battersea Power station redevelopment. The result is an immersive and energetic experience that is unique in its undulating landscape of fun chaos and immersive experiences.
Over the years, more of their work has been in Asia and the Middle East, and an example of this is the recent opening of a new standard of smart gym called B_FIT in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Shed conceived the offer, brand and interior design for the site, delivering a turnkey solution that captures the spirit of movement with a design inspired by utilitarian spaces.
Working on projects across the globe, Stringer explains that in order to do this, communication and respect are vital ingredients. “Communication allows us to understand and constantly deepen our knowledge, and respect for clients and our team is important because every opinion matters and the design process is a collaborative one, and one to be enjoyed.”
Shed’s leadership team of four directors have not only built up a successful blend of project direction and innovation for the here and now, but they maintain their position in the market by always looking to develop next generation of designers with the Shed Academy.
“By providing mentoring and a professional development programme for sixth formers and graduates, we bring new thinking into our work whilst delivering crucial experience and career guidance for those that need it. We will be partnering with universities in the future, building on existing lecturing and school programmes we engage with. We believe it’s important we take care of the future as well as the present,” explains Stringer.
Their passion for the creative process and the understanding they have for their clients and a brief are major strengths for the company. It is an in-depth process which involves research into consumer behaviour as well as country-specific lifestyle factors which all play a crucial part in their
“The strong, trusted relationships we build with clients is another key driver to our success. Clients trust us with their brand which they have spent years developing, our interior architecture work is an extension of their brand and only by knowing our clients do we fully understand their brand what their vision is for a project and we look forward to our projects and collaborations moving forward,” concludes Stringer.