One of our luxury interior contracts in Turkey, Wepublic arose out of Boyner Group’s interest in creating a department store that fit the free and dynamic corporate identity of the Akmerkez Shopping Center. YOO Architecture undertaken the application and construction site processes of Wepublic, which has 4 floors and 8000 square meters, for 9 months as the general contractor. All heavy steel construction and fabrications, furniture and material supplies, design solutions as well as the coordination of shop in shop brands, shopping center, all companies working in the construction process and 3 different design groups, which are GAD, HMKM London, Universal Design Studio London, were carried out by YOO Architecture.
Starting a Versatile Luxury Retail Fit Out Project
In a high-end retail fit out project there are various aspects to consider and plan accordingly. Wepublic, which contains nearly 500 local and international brands 80 of which are shop in shops, with its pop-up retail areas, terraces, iconic design pieces, workshop spaces and its concept based on the city theme of Istanbul had 3 different design groups and thus had 3 different material boards. Therefore, we were faced with a wide range of materials. While some of the materials were supplied from abroad, some of them were produced in Turkey under our coordination because of the long lead times. We conducted long-term R&D studies for flooring, walls, and furniture. Upon receiving approval for the samples, we started production. In the tight time frames, our previous global experiences in high-end stores had enabled us to achieve the results that designers, brands and business partners were satisfied with.
Creating the Unique Atmosphere in High-End Retail Fit Out
Wepublic has a different spatial feel than a typical shopping centre as well as its own unique content, which is what sets it apart. The conceptual structure, main entrance gates and atrium areas were designed by GAD to attract guests from the around areas. We already knew that the implementation of its flowing form design was going to be difficult. We quickly evaluated the environmental factors and adapted the project to its draft within a short period of time. We had studied similar projects from all over the world and decided to produce many of the materials domestically to save time. We worked hard on R&D. We presented the final forms by modelling the doors over a 3-dimensional survey. Following that, we finished production drawings. We split up the model, taking into account the size of the CNC machine. The parts we produced were made of fiberglass. Before we took the pieces to the site, we built them on a structure which was made of proper dimensions for quality control purposes. Finally, we installed it on the place and sought material in the proper colours to give it the desired metallic effect. We presented the option to cover it in wrap film by taking budgetary issues into consideration to both the designers and our business partners. Within a short period of time following the approval, we realized our dream of implementing this design for the first time in Turkey. In luxury retail design, being creative and innovative makes the space unique as well as our work.
The Concept of Continuity in High-End Stores
The concept of continuity was achieved using arches that were fluid, interlocking and pulled in from the outside. We used different molds for each arch, each one had a different type and size. We divided the parts we’d produced in 3D and obtained the molds using the CNC. We poured the molds into plaster and added the ARC automated LEDs, which are also located on the doors.
We also designed the slope concept that connects the 4th floor with the ground and imported the pieces from abroad for the look we wanted. After about 4 days of work, we connected the pieces with a crane and fit them to be compatible with the fluid concept.
We designed the scaffolding in the atrium area that is central to both Akmerkez and Wepublic, and we also designed an elevator up to the ceiling. The scaffolding which connects the 3rd floor to the ground with brand colours allowed us to solve the problem of excessing the products. We developed a lift system to be used on special days and for events, and thus provided an incredibly practical decorative element for the atrium.
Creating a Wholesome Space in Luxury Retail Design
We were in charge of making sure that there were no problems during construction process because Wepublic shouldn’t have been separated from the shopping centre with sharp-set borders and doors. We provided a rational and aesthetic detail to the store and its relationship with the overall environment without disturbing Akmerkez’s customers and without creating any extra pollution. This enabled both sides to get through this process efficiently and without any problems.
By discovering new means of production, by searching for a variety of different materials, and through research and development process we delivered the 360 service to Wepublic with a solution-focused understanding in a timely and efficient manner. We are delighted to have placed our stamp on Wepublic, which carries with both the city and its timeless world. This high-end retail fit out project will be discussed for much time to come and inspire many more.