umdasch realised "Wine & Spirits" for Harrods
Harrods is opening its new Wine & Spirits section in the Food Halls of the world’s most famous department store. The refit is the second phase of the two-year restoration entitled the “Taste Revolution” – the biggest redesign in the 180-year-old history of Harrods. The umdasch Store Makers created an interior to blend with the historic building and the exclusive range of high-quality wines in spirits in line with the instructions of the London design office of Martin Brudnizki.
“Wine & Spirits” – a classic in Art Déco style
The Great Gatsby. A famous novel in which glamour, vintage chic and romance celebrate together and culminate in an explosion of sensuous pleasures. Having recourse to this idea, the Martin Brudnizki Design Studio created the new Wine & Spirits department in the Food Halls of Harrods luxury department store in London. “The Wine & Spirits department is an exciting shop window for Harrods’ excellence. It stands out quite clearly from all the other retailers in the world. The new space on the Lower Ground Floor will change our perception of wines and spirits”, explained Alex Dower, Director of the Food Halls at Harrods, to the British daily newspaper “The Telegraph”.
Based on the golden days of the 1920s, visitors can sample and purchase rare vintages in a glamorous, elegant atmosphere inspired by the Art Déco style. It is an act of homage to The Great Gatsby. Here a shiny black-and-white marble floor joins forces with whitewashed oak wall panels dotted with copper design elements. Chilled glass display cases – the so-called “Hero Shelves” – contain the world’s best wines and spirits. Cupboards integrated into the walls and not recognisable at first sight also present hidden delicacies.
While the materials convey an impression of opulence, the visitor only becomes truly aware of the size of the space measuring some 500 square metres through the impressively long ceiling design. Linked together but separated according to the exquisite selection of wines, spirits and Champagnes, the different areas are subdivided but lead the visitor’s eyes towards the end of the hall. The subdued lighting creates a spectacular atmosphere in the space and also protects the valuable products from damage through heat or UV rays. The refit of Wine & Spirits has created an attractive setting which harks back to its origins and impressively underlines the pioneering role of Harrods in the luxury retail sector. It was implemented by the umdasch Store Makers.
Try and taste – a sensuous journey of discovery
The new Wine & Spirits Hall is not only a visual explosion of the senses; it also promises a revolution of taste par excellence. Visitors have the opportunity to play with aromas and to discover tastes anew. Scattered across the section visitors will find islands where they can immerse themselves in the scents and aromas of selected wines and spirits. Glass bell jars contain a series of rare exhibits which describe the different aromas like those of ripe apricots, sweet blossoms or dark coffee beans. Trumpet-like copper extensions of the bell jars emit the characteristic aromas of the most important noble grape varieties – from Chardonnay to Syrah to Pinot Noir – by means of an easy-to-operate air cushion.
The section also contains two séparées: a private tasting area in which exclusive events with wine tastings and even wine seminars with live broadcasts by famous sommeliers can take place, and a consulting area which is dedicated entirely to individual expert advice for customers. In order to complete the tasting revolution, top-quality cigars can be purchased and then tried with a glass of spirits in a walk-in humidor.
The product range – direct from the wine cellars
In addition to the first-class design and the appropriately executed interior, the Wine & Spirits section guarantees a selection of the noblest brands. “We offer our customers a product range of 1,400 different types of wine and Champagne, together with 600 different spirits for different target groups. They come directly from the cellars of the world’s top producers”, explained Edward Gerard – Head of Wine & Spirits at Harrods – to “The Drinks Business” magazine. “With Wine & Spirits we want to create an environment which promises exclusive service for every visitor, but without the snobbishness which is often associated with good wine.” And so Harrods visitors can purchase wines, spirits, Champagne and co. at prices from £ 9 to £ 28,000 per bottle.
The Taste Revolution – a sensuous revolution in the Food Halls
Wine & Spirits is the second phase of the modernisation measures which Harrods describes as the “Taste Revolution”: the biggest redesign of the historic Food Halls in the last 30 years. This “Taste Revolution” opens a new chapter in the history of the world’s most famous department store. The Roastery & Bakehall marked the start of the renovations and was also realised by umdasch. “By 2019 our demanding customers will be able to experience here the world’s largest department store section which is a retail centre for food. Nowhere else will you find this combination of competence and outstanding service and this variety of products. Customer will be able not only to look at the products but also to smell, touch and taste them”, said Dower to umdasch in conclusion.
“I am delighted that after the Roastery & Bakehall we have now realised the second highly demanding project to the complete satisfaction of our customer. I am very proud of our entire team around Simon Wait,” commented Roman Fußthaler – Managing Director Premium Retail at umdasch.
Photocredit: Ben Anders; Agent: One Represents