Georges, Melbourne, VIC
Georges in Melbourne had a long history as a significant high quality department store, although in the 1990’s it lost patronage and the original store closed. Somewhat bravely, a small group of investors sought to reinvigorate the old building and it’s shopping with a new twenty-first century interior.
The interior atrium was reinstated, and once again played an important role in establishing a vista of open spaces and modern folded steel staircases, to provide access to four floors of distinguished shopping. The fine plaster detailing, cast-iron columns and rich spatial layering characteristic of the building’s earlier decorative fitout styles are key features of the interior store presentations. So too are finely detailed glass display shelving and metal screens, the new stone and timber flooring and the exposed service trunking on the skyline above the top floor. The hanging glass stair combines functionality with simplicity and a feeling of spaciousness to lead the shopper from one space to another.
A simple palette of materials including bluestone, dark timber, glass and stainless steel is used throughout the store to ensure a consistency in style and a high level of future flexibility. Translucent elements, white on white, natural timber and interior daylight are all key elements of a creative collaboration between Daryl Jackson, Sir Terence Conran and Stephen Bennett, the retail principal.