— Frame Magazine —

Ippolito Fleitz Group carves out an undulating wooden canopy for a watch store in the Black Forest

In a little town at the edge of a lake in the Black Forest lies another, smaller, forest. This one resides in a family-run luxury watch boutique called Drubba and offers a momentary rural respite for citified Asian tourists. Drubba started as a kiosk in the 1950s where visitors could rent boats by the hour and, later, buy traditional cuckoo clocks and high-end wristwatches that could tell them the hour.

The interior 'concentrates' the shopping experience for tourists on a tight itinerary whilst unifying diverse brands in one coherent display. Ippolito Fleitz Group ranged branded areas around a central zone overhung with square spruce rods that descend from and ripple over the ceiling, an abstraction of the forest outside that forms the emotional heart of the shop. Here, a watchmaker's atelier and a showcase of high-quality timepieces focus on craft more than logos.

In the same way that the shop sits amidst the forest, the centre is encircled by the discrete brand zones, all of which share certain features: wall niches provide texture and rhythm whilst the subtle complexion of large-format hexagonal floor tiles let the perimeter of the space recede, offer a neutral backdrop for display and reinforce the interior's polygonal plan. This unbranded space becomes a handsome centrepiece, but without overshadowing the branded areas around it.

Photos Zooey Braun.



This project appears in the forthcoming Powershop 5 (to be released in mid-September) as well as the much anticipated monography from Ippolito Fleitz Group entitled Identity Architects (to be released in October), which explains much about the Stuttgart-based firm's working philosophy, as well as how the team emphasises that all-important fifth element: the ceiling. Watch out for more news about both of these new titles from Frame Publishers, or sign up for updates here.