Spun London

Spun London

Nick Leith-Smith Architecture + Design
London, United Kingdom
Project Year
Quintin Lake

Spun London

Nick Leith-Smith Architecture + Design as Architects

Spun is a bold new sweet shop, carefully detailed with rich materials, strong colours and geometric, space age forms. When Spun approached NLS, the basic concept for the store had been set out, complete with an established graphic identity and corporate colour scheme. The design was intended to bring the vision to life and create the right visual environment for the merchandise.

For the first Spun store in Covent Garden, NLS was tasked with infusing a typical Victorian shop front with a sense of mystery and interior delight. The hand-crafted aspect of sweet making was the principal inspiration, with fixtures and fittings designed to evoke traditional values and processes. These were paired with elements based on the elaborate technical components created by the brewing industry, formed from stainless steel and copper piping.

A central element of the shop design is the pick and mix display. Rather than a standard grid of Perspex containers, the array of multi-coloured sweets is set within an elaborate sculptural container, inspired by scientific models of the atomic structure, and built from stainless steel cylinders contained within a framework of copper pipes. It allows customers to engage closely with the process of mixing and choosing flavours.

Storage units are also made from the same materials, with glass shelves suspended within the copper framework and then set against the bistro-tiled walls. A combination of matt and gloss tiles are arranged in a criss-cross geometric pattern, with the deep bevelled tile edges adding texture and shape to the walls. Above the counter are four Jo Hammerborg pendant lamps, a reissue of a 1963 design finished in copper and resembling molten drops of chocolate.

The relatively small floorplan of around 400 square feet meant that stock has to be carefully stored. A ‘library of flavours’ is stored in shallow shelves arranged below the counter top, which are faced with glass display shelves containing jars of multi-coloured sweets. The floor is walnut, a dark wood that blends well with Spun’s signature purple-pink and the extensive use of copper, creating a delectably rich palette without descending into kitsch or cliché.

The overall effect is part laboratory, part wonderland, a design that reflects the fact that Spun’s customers are no longer just children, but also office workers, tourists, passers-by and true aficionados of handmade goods. Spun is designed with strong materials, a carefully considered visual language and meticulous craftsmanship, creating a place of surprise and delight.

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