The best stores in the world and with the most style (architectural)

We visualize the trends in design of the most international Stores, trends that will mark the next 2021 from the most avant-garde architectural style.

2020 is ending, a year of transition towards a more globalized era, so we can take advantage of the moment to glimpse the trends in retail architecture of this unique period that we have had to go through. To do so, we look at an international award called the Prix Versailles. Some awards that are given to shops, malls, hotels and restaurants.

The idea of the organizers is to reward innovation, creativity and ecological efficiency. As well as values such as interaction and social participation (there is nothing). For this, they have chosen UNESCO as their headquarters, which, I understand, mimics these values very well. At the awards presentation ceremony last October, they included four more categories: airports, campuses, passenger stations and sports. In the latter we can find the brand new Reale Arena in San Sebastián as a contender for an award.

Another singularity of these awards is that they are divided by region. They are selected in Africa and Western Asia; Central, South and Caribbean America; North America; Central and Northeast Asia; South Asia and the Pacific; and Europe. Which is still a peculiar form of international politics, «awards for all» and such… In short, the fact is that this dissection allows us to analyze the trends in the different awards, specifically, in this article we will see those that correspond to the Shops & Stores section, our favorite stores.

In Europe, the best stores are in Paris, Amsterdam and Greece

Dior Champs-Élysées in Paris, France. Photo: Terres Rouges

Of course, we will start the list with Europe, where the international luxury company Dior has a «small» store called Dior Champs-Élysées, in Paris, France. A space that has won the prized award and whose design corresponds to the Terres Rouges company. The fantastic design of the facade (which seems to rise to show the window) pays tribute to the African continent. With a tropical accent, very much on a par with the Cruise 2020 collection, by the Italian designer Maria Grazia Chiuri.

Bioaroma; Agios Nikolaos, Greece. Photo: KAAF

Two more interventions have also been awarded in the old continent. One has been for the Bioaroma store, in Ágios Nikólaos, Greece, whose design comes from the hand of KAAF. 240 square meters of surface whose interior visual impact, with exposed stone walls, made it worthy of this special mention for interior design.

The Looking Glass; Amsterdam, Netherlands. Photo: UNStudio

The other, The Looking Glass, a store in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, by UNStudio. With a curious restored façade, to which three curved glass panels have been included, flowing like transparent fabrics, it has received a mention for exterior design.

A trip to Sydney, India and Thailand

Aesop Pitt Street in Sydney, Australia. Photo: Snøhetta

We travel to the Indian Ocean, where, in the South Asia and Pacific category, the Aesop Pitt Street store in Sydney, Australia received the award. It is the work of the Snøhetta studio, whom we have seen before in our magazine. For the brand’s largest store, measuring around 250 square metres, the architects designed an exterior skin of granite and an interior of natural stone. It has vertical grooves that texture the walls and allow the placement of shelves for beauty and body care products.

Angadi Heritage; Bengaluru, India. Photo: Abha Narain Lambah Associates

As special mentions in this region we have the Angadi Heritage store, for the interior, in Bangalore, India. Executed very elegantly by the company Abha Narain Lambah Associates, it has a spectacular and luxurious ornamental ceiling, worthy of the luxury designers from India who collaborate with the brand.

Amanpuri Retail Pavilion; Cherngtalay, Thailand. Photo: Kengo Kuma & Associates

To mention abroad we traveled to Thailand, to the Amanpuri Retail Pavilion, a superb intervention by the Japanese international studio Kengo Kuma & Associates. It has a spectacular geometric game on the roof that allows a lot of light inside.

The best shops in Central Asia, two bookstores and a spa

Xiadi Paddy Field Bookstore in Ningde, China. Photo: Trace Architecture Office

Of course China could not be left behind. It has received the 2020 Prix Versailles for the Northwest and Central Asia region thanks to the Xiadi Paddy Field Bookstore by Trace Architecture Office. It is a bookstore that was born from a rehabilitation in a small town surrounded by rice fields.

Sinan Books Poetry Store; Shanghai, China. Photo: Wutopia Lab

Interior mention for Sinan Books Poetry (another bookstore), by Wutopia Lab, a work worth enjoying, elegant and pretentious.

Ryogoku Yuya Edoyu Spa; Tokyo Japan. Photo: Kubo Tsushima Architects

And mention to the exterior for the Ryogoku Yuya Edoyu spa, in Tokyo, by Kubo Tsushima Architects, well deserved for the 20-meter curtains that hide the union of two buildings under a very unique pattern.

Apple and Hermès, the best stores in North America

Apple Fifth Avenue in New York, USA. Photo: Foster + Partners

North America has its own space at the Prix, with a well-deserved award to the Apple Fifth Avenue store in New York, by the fireproof Foster, whose transparent spiral staircase convinces the most demanding.

Hermes; New York, NY, United States. Photo: RDAI

Mention to the interior for the Hermès store in the Big Apple designed by RDAI, the French company has created a warm and bright environment for New Yorkers.

Apple Adventure; Aventura, FL, United States. Photo: Foster + Partners

And mention abroad, again, for another work by Foster and Apple in the city of Aventura, in the United States, a transparent wonder that the brand wants to get us used to…

Brazil and Argentina take the best stores in South America

Brazil is the most awarded country in the Central and South America and the Caribbean section, with the highest award going to Haight Clothing, in Sao Paulo. From the studies Entre Terras / Pablo Resende, it is about the rehabilitation of a long building with a quite striking set of lights.

Selo in São Paulo, Brazil. Photo: MNMA

The mention to the interior for Selo, also in Sao Paulo, from the MNMA studio, another performance where light predominates.

Premises E55; Calera, Argentina. Photo: Bender Freiberg Architects

The mention of the exterior moved to the South, to Argentina, for Premises E55 by Bender Freiberg Arquitectos, an intervention that enhances its highest volume through high-impact brise soleil.

Highlights of Qatar, Kuwait and Oman

Shop of the National Museum of Qatar in Doha. Photo: Koichi Takada Architects

In the end we only have the awards for Africa and West Asia left, with its main award for the impressive store of the National Museum of Qatar, by Koichi Takada Architects. This intervention leaves us speechless, with organic walls executed in wood, trying to connect people and design… I don’t know if they really succeed (it must be said), but these forms leave the most seasoned emaciated with emotions. Thanks, among other things, to the latest generation 3D modeling software.

% Arabica Coffee in Sharq, Kuwait. Photo: Nendo

In this region, mention to the interior for % Arabica Coffee, in Sharq, Kuwait, from the Japanese studio Nendo. The coffee shop elegantly displays its products standing out against a bright background.

Huqqa – Marsa Plaza in Muscat, Oman. Photo: acme

And mention abroad for Huqqa – Marsa Plaza, in Muscat, Oman, by the Acme studio. This fitted a modern square with a central fountain, surrounded by luminous constructions that give space to various shops, all covered by the new geometry, an inspiring success. I don’t know about you, but seeing so much design juxtaposed makes me want to toast to the future, a pretty bright architectural future.

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