There aren’t many opportunities to build a department store from the ground up these days.

Tsvetnoy

There aren’t many opportunities to build a department store from the ground up these days. Cash and space both militate against this kind of thing happening and in general it’s more frequently the case that an elderly retail dowager gets a few shots of botox and a new frock, emerging as a nearly new department store debutante.

Tsevetnoy in central Moscow is the exception that proves the rule.

This austere seven-floor piece of modernism was not originally destined to be a store at all as the developer had state-of-the-art offices in mind. The other thing that is worth bearing in mind is that this is central Moscow, a location where ostentatious luxury is the norm as oligarchs, billionaires cruise around looking for ways to outdo each other.

If you were therefore looking to set up shop in the area, a mid-market emporium might not be the first thing that would spring to mind. Yet this is what Tsvetnoy Central Market is and given that Gum, the massive millionaire’s retail playground, is not far away this might seem a good strategy.

The majority of the store is the design handiwork of UK consultancy HMKM and perhaps the most impressive element is the massive atrium that, in spite of its market positioning, is a glitzfest - in a good way. This provides views to the five floors of fashion, each of which has been given its own character, ranging from denim up to the ‘house of gold’ on the fourth floor, which takes the ambience of an art gallery as a design cue.

The project was 18 months in the making and it was formally launched at the beginning of this year.