08 May 2019 • Lauren Grace Morris
Now, extreme athletes have a store just for them – in Singapore’s new airport-mall
Whether one is in the market for the world’s lightest folding bicycle or ultra-flexible wetsuits, adjustable ski boots or a breathing device for intense swimming, they’ll be able to find it at Durasport, a sports store designed by Ministry of Design in the mall of Singapore’s newly christened Jewel Changi Airport.
Ministry of Design and the client, local company Durasafe, knew from the start that they were dealing with a congested retail landscape, as there were already plenty of established multi-label sports stores in the city. In creating the flagship, their ambition was to build a shopping experience that would standout within this complex marketplace, hence the decision to centre their offer around the most cutting-edge sports products available, co-curated by the client and studio.
But what spatial treatment was appropriate to attracting their largely underserved audience of high-performance athletes? Much like the products themselves, Ministry of Design reasoned that the store would have to push the limits of engineering, material and experiential excellence whilst constantly transmitting the visceral thrill of pushing the human body to its limits. That’s why the 183-sq-m retail space took on the form of an immersive, futuristic R&D lab. With its slick, stainless-steel surfacing and fluid curves, the interiors are meant to look like they’re constantly in motion.
Durasport also stretches beyond visual kinesis. While shopping at the location, an athlete doesn’t need to wait until the mountains or deep sea call to jump to action. Five in-store simulators – the first of their kind to be introduced in Singaporean retail – allow shoppers to test products then and there. A ski simulator lets alpine enthusiasts trial a variety of different slope conditions, for instance, while an on-site climbing wall means mountaineers can pit themselves and their gear against gravity.
But the studio and client were sure to cover all of their bases: if one is too tired to try on performance gear after all of that activity, a ‘Magic Mirror’ will do it for them, then email them reference photos.