Seen one mobile phone shop, seen ‘em all. As a rule of thumb this is not that wide of the mark, but every now and again you come across something that does makes you sit up and take notice.
This is Belgian mobile phone network Base’s flagship store in the Belgian city of Antwerp; located in the central station and created by Belgian design consultancy Creneau International.
Given the grand surroundings, which are a listed historical monument, Base starts with a considerable architectural advantage, but this is a good thing made better. Of particular note are the mid-shop fixtures, on wheels and fashioned from clean, stripped wood, the white lighting provided by the clustered overhead pendants and the letters, scattered around the shop that collectively spell the word Base.
As this is a listed building, the usual strictures have meant that none of the design impinges on the walls: all is freestanding. The notion of white in this store is, in fact, reinforced by a white box that has the appearance of having been dropped into the space. This forms the backdrop for the majority of the interior and succeeds in marrying the historic with the distinctly contemporary.
It also does that which a good mobile phone shop has to do, make you want to examine small products in a relatively huge space. There is a clear division of the interior with a new products display, kitchen, business centre and lounge. This may sound a bit over-fashionable for something as relatively mundane as a purveyor of mobile handsets, but this is a retail environment that is set apart from its rivals.