Retail – Virgin Megastores
wdl Interior Architects was chosen to help convert the famous Tower Records store at 1 Piccadilly Circus, London, for Virgin Retail: the design was to become a template for Virgin Megastores worldwide. Working alongside Paris architects Collet & Berger to develop and interpret their concept into a working solution for remodelling the three-storey property. The design had to be taken through an approvals process within Virgin before undergoing final detailing to meet UK regulations.
The work involved extensive structural changes, removing lifts and sections of floor to create a natural circulation and open up views within the store. A glass scenic lift and a pre-fabricated steel scissor stair formed a new circulation core, clad entirely in re-claimed hardwood. After expanding into adjacent shop units, new entrances and display windows were formed along Regent Street. Old entrances were then re opened directly off Piccadilly tube station into the basement, where other Virgin franchises were sited.
The multi phase project was carried out over a 20-week period, while the store continued to trade. The ratio of sales floor area lost to construction never exceeded 40%, while customer visits and sales perplexingly increased progressively while on site.
wdl acted as interior architects and lead consultant, within a professional team of concept designers, project managers, quantity surveyors, mechanical, electrical and structural engineers.