January 29th 2013 – London’s Regent Street is a highly decorated shopping drag in London’s West End. The street, which is lined with ornate Beaux Arts styled buildings, is the new home to Penhaligon’s eccentric new shop designed by Christopher Jenner. It’s been over 140 years since the doors of Penhaligon’s first emporium opened on London’s Jermyn Street, and now, the perfume connoisseurs are hoping to broaden the world of scent making with their highly detailed Edwardian inspired shop.
Jenner was brought up in South Africa, but traveled extensively throughout his life. His globetrotting cultivated a commitment to artisanal skill, which is evident in the immense detail of his work. In 2010 the designer set up shop in London and “In a short time we’ve built a reputation on our ability to tell a brand story through the design of spaces,” Jenner explained. “With the success of our other projects the chance to work with Penhaligon’s was a natural fit.” Jenner began his partnership with Penhaligon’s when he designed their flagship store in Asia, which resulted in the company bringing Jenner and his team back to design their shop on Regent Street.
The shop is filled with giant padded walls, punctured by chamfered light boxes, that draw the eye into a kaleidoscope of heritage; ceiling roses inspired by Westminster Cathedral introduce a Tudor fretwork ceiling from which glossy Brighton Pavilion Onion Dome chandeliers are suspended. Styled as a symbiosis of the classic and contemporary, the design investigates a thoroughly current fusion of classic Edwardian splendor and cutting-edge Japanese Manga.
Extensive marquetry paneling and handmade furniture in white Oak, gloss and laser-cut solid brass, surround a candy-stick maze table with bow stools, all of which sit upon a cement tile floor. A collection of pattern, form and texture in a synthesis of traditional English handcraft and high-tech manufacturing consume the shop.
Jenner described the most challenging part of creating his latest gem was ensuring a consistent quality and finish across the many variable elements. He explained that “due to the handmade nature of our work this is both a time and relationship intensive task. Monitoring this process from start to finish is a large part of the benefit we bring to the final product.”
With such an elaborate space, we couldn’t help but ask Jenner what his favorite detail in the design is, to which he replied, I love the way we’ve used a consistent pattern in so many materials to create a magical layered effect that communicates the qualities of the brand alongside the qualities of craftsmanship – a true manifestation of luxury.
(Photography by Michael Franke)
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