cheungvogl — the hong kong-based architecture studio — has designed an open exhibition retail space within a 110 year old russian department store. completed in 1907, ‘au pont rouge’ is located along saint petersburg’s red bridge on river moika. built in the tradition of great european department stores, such as paris’ galleries lafayette or london’s selfridges, the building underwent functional and architectural transformations in 2011 to restore it to its original state.

 

 

all images and video courtesy of cheungvogl

 

 

cheungvogl’s design recreates the past innovation of au pont rouge by transforming the venue into a vibrant public space. ‘the global shift towards online shopping and the reshape of consumerism has rendered many classical department stores and the retail model obsolete,’ say the architects. ‘on the brink of the current fourth industrial revolution, which interlinks information technologies with automated processes in all aspects of life, there is an immediate need to rethink the core values of the future retail model.’

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the retail space is set within a 110 year old russian department store

 

 

within the store, cheungvogl has implemented a robotic system that silently conducts operational and logistical aspects. a mobile app is used to scan items that are then added to a virtual basket. then, upon purchase, the automated system forwards the order to the point of sale, or alternatively, prepares to deliver the product to different locations. meanwhile, exhibition space is liberated from all trading operations, presenting a distinct retail environment with alternative uses of space.

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‘au pont rouge’ is located along saint petersburg’s river moika

 

 

the classical trading process between patrons and sales is replaced by informative consultation with strong focus on human interactions and intellectual exchange, setting new standards for services,’ explains the design team. ‘the speed of the machine along with the open exhibition retail provides simultaneous fast, slow and very slow pace shopping experience.’

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the design transforms the venue into a vibrant public space

 

 

while the building’s external envelope has been restored to its original state, the internal upgrades of the historic venue have been designed to enable the transformation of the department store into a new centerpiece for commercial, social, and cultural life. damaged structural elements, such as the distinctive art-nouveau staircase, balustrades and windows, have been repaired to their original condition.

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an enfilade of salons filters daylight and city views

 

 

the new insertion appears as a sequence of translucent layers. freestanding glazed panels create a 100 meter-long gallery between the façade and its interiors, stretching along the peripheral of the building. an enfilade of salons filters daylight and city views across to the central atrium, providing the eight levels of the building with natural light.

cheungvogl-au-pont-rouge-multi-space-saint-petersburg-russia-designboom-02
damaged structural elements have been repaired to their original condition

cheungvogl-au-pont-rouge-multi-space-saint-petersburg-russia-designboom-02
the new insertion appears as a sequence of translucent layers

cheungvogl-au-pont-rouge-multi-space-saint-petersburg-russia-designboom-02
freestanding glazed panels create a 100 meter-long gallery

cheungvogl-au-pont-rouge-multi-space-saint-petersburg-russia-designboom-02
natural light is provided to each of the building’s eight storeys

cheungvogl-au-pont-rouge-multi-space-saint-petersburg-russia-designboom-02
a robotic system silently conducts operational and logistical aspects

cheungvogl-au-pont-rouge-multi-space-saint-petersburg-russia-designboom-02
the department store has been conceived as a new centerpiece for commercial, social, and cultural life

cheungvogl-au-pont-rouge-multi-space-saint-petersburg-russia-designboom-02
exhibition space is liberated from all trading operations, presenting a distinct retail environment

cheungvogl-au-pont-rouge-multi-space-saint-petersburg-russia-designboom-02
the atrium at the heart of the building

cheungvogl-au-pont-rouge-multi-space-saint-petersburg-russia-designboom-02
‘au pont rouge’ was built in the tradition of great european department stores

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