Jury prize

Kungfu by Gentle Monster, London

Designed by: Gentle Monster
For client: Gentle Monster Floor area: 471.00 M² Year of completion: 2018
Submitted for: Single-Brand Store of the Year

Public Score
5.88 Function
6.28 Innovation
6.50 Creativity
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© Gentle Monster

Ground floor of the Argyll street store depicts an imagination of Kungfu training aliens with kinetic aliens and waterfall media art installation. It shows an exciting mix of craft and technology.

About the Project

After a huge growth in Asia and America, Korean born eyewear brand Gentle Monster opened their first European store in the heart of London, marking the most important expansion for the brand with another powerful retail presence.
The concept of Gentle Monster’s London Argyll Street flagship store ‘Kungfu’, evolves from the story of a tribe of extra-terrestrial creatures captivated by the practice of Kungfu whilst on a trip to Earth.
The Argyll Street entrance attracts pedestrians with eye catching kinetic installations in the form of Kungfu practicing aliens, standing on dark gravel that leads one to a kinetically operated massive gong that goes off every 3 minutes. Crafted entirely by the brand’s in-house team, it represents the technically advance, but playful aesthetic of the brand. Behind these aliens is a digitally interpreted scene of a waterfall, a typical meditation and training spot for martial art trainees, through a media installation re-edited from a berlin-based artist Ryoichi Kurokawa’s ‘Oct Falls’(2011).
The ground floor is finished with different types of grave and granite wall finishing that subtly defines the conceptual area and the product-oriented section.
The lower ground with contrasting texture and color from the upper floor, is a Colosseum-like battle field where master trainees challenge themselves to a defending champion. Kinetically installed alien fighters are surrounded by cheering crowds as they constantly show off their trained moves.

What’s unique about it

The London flagship store sets an example of what a unique retails experience is by pushing the boundaries of space usage and story-telling. Rather than scaling the space down in relation to its products (eyewear), Gentle Monster takes advantage of a larger space with extensive narrative and innovative art installations with mixed media, from artisanal art objects to high-tech kinetic installations with motion and sound. What truly sets Gentle Monster in the fast-paced commercially driven retail world apart is how directly the aesthetic comes from the people who formed the brand from the beginning. All Gentle Monster spaces are planned and constructed by in-house artists of the brand, who understands Gentle Monster’s vision to the very core. The investment in new material and technology is constant within the R&D center of Gentle Monster.
After an immersive concept experience, visitors can direct themselves to meticulously displayed products set up for liberal try-ons. The lighting is adjusted perfectly for eyewear and the space allows enough room for trying out any eyewear without having to worry about being in the way of other people.
The amusement in this space extends the duration of the stay leading to a higher turnover for sales and desire to return for another visit.
In Korea for the past 5+ years, Gentle Monster has been offering a new standard, encouraging the fashion industry to put more thought into spatial design.

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© Gentle Monster

The Argyll street entrance is a head turner for any pedestrians walking by.

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© Gentle Monster

Contrasting in color and texture from the ground floor entrance. Provides a convenient space for liberal try-on and service.

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© Gentle Monster

At the Colosseum -like battle field, the crowd cheers as they watch the fight of the master kung fu aliens and are products displayed amidst the audience.

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© Gentle Monster

Kinetic aliens on the battle field of the lower ground floor. The smaller one borrows the power of a battleship to earn the champion title. It is one of the most captivation installation of the store

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© Gentle Monster

Media installation re-edited in collaboration with artist Ryoichi Kurukawa symbolizes a waterfall,a typical training and meditation place.

Gentle Monster, London flagship store.

Location of project:
Gentle Monster

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