Shop in the fast lane: Samsonite's showroom is made for movement
AMSTERDAM – Have you ever walked through Dam Square? Honking cars. Impatient bicyclists. Tourists by the legion. There's rushing movement everywhere, from the people to the air (the Dutch don't build all their windmills for nothing).
Step inside the high-contrast Samsonite showroom designed by i29 interior architects and you'll find an elevated expression of this fast-paced travel and mobility in its monochromatic graphic interior. But like the foot-traffic outside, the strong visual language is human-scale. i29 chose the ‘archaic’ symbol of a zebra crossing to represent the mobility of Samsonite’s customer demographic, in lieu of visual clichés such as airplanes or exotic landscapes.
In defiance of the orthogonal layout, the store is organized diagonally, creating a tension that drives visitors to zigzag through the space and discover the collections around each corner.
The conflicting angles purposefully obstruct linear movement, encouraging active investigation of the islands of neatly arranged pieces of Samsonite luggage. The islands of colourful suitcases are more like oases – providing visual relief and moments of stillness in the largely achromatic and chaotically routed showroom.
The black-and-white stripes along the floor are interrupted only by vertical blocks, which extend the linear graphic upward. Upright display cabinets depict aerial images of busy urban crosswalks, momentarily distorting orientation and placing the viewer at a right angle to the ground.
Encapsulating all the movement associated with modern urbanity, mobility and travel, the bold aesthetic demands a certain level of attention and recreates the natural environment of Samsonite's products. The showroom design encourages alertness, prompts action – and despite the repetitive theme of black-and-white lines – is anything but monotonous.