Saturday, March 3, 2012

Selfridges - Birmingham

Main entrance to Selfridges, Birmingham. (c) House of Hall. Flickr.

Selfridges is the name of a British chain of department stores. The most impressive in terms of architecture is the one in Birmingham, which was listed as one of the Worlds's Greatest Attractions and one of the 100 stores to visit in the world by Retail Week magazine.

Designed by Future System and inaugurated in 2003, the curvy building was honored by the  Royal Institute of British Architects, who said it was "clearly one of the most provocative of all the year's submissions because of its uncompromising and unprecedented outward appearance". Indeed, it quickly became an iconic symbol for this old city with new ambitions. 

(c) Malias. Flickr.
Besides the shape and the curves of the building, the truly impressive feature is the 15,000 aluminium disks that cover like scales the International Klein Blue exterior, looking very much like a smooth, silvery sequin dress. The lighting of the interior during daytime is predominantly natural and comes through a large roof atrium.

(c) House of Hall. Flickr.
Unlike any other department store that you have ever seen before, Selfridges in Birmingham reflects all the neighboring buildings and change with the weather.

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