Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge

Portview Fit-Out talks to Shop Spec editor, Can Faik, about their work on the new Harvey Nichols Beauty Lounge located in Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge store...

Following the transformation of the menswear department at the luxury retailer’s flagship store, Portview completed the fit-out of the innovative new Beauty Lounge at Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge.

Covering an area of 13,000 sq ft, the interior embodies all the attributes of a luxury beauty boutique, with sophisticated, individual and modern designs that complement the latest instore technology to elevate the customer experience.

Portview designed a new layout by stripping out the entire ground floor and removing structural walls to create a brighter, more free-flowing space. A new stair core was also constructed.

Breaking away from more traditional methods of visual communication, cutting edge technology is prominent throughout, with each beauty counter flanked by state-of-the-art digital displays.

The pioneering new concept features ground breaking designs to create a unique and imaginative translation of the Harvey Nichols brand. This includes Romanesque pillars, bronze display counters, plush soft furnishings and wall-to-wall white marble to enhance the peach undertones.

To create strong, geometric patterns that command attention, Portview integrated three varieties of concrete with grey and white marbles, as well as new materials such as resin and printed plywood panelling.

For added texture and dimension, semi translucent polycarbonate panels were installed to contrast with the plastered ceiling and light troughs, giving a high gloss, mirrored effect.

The Beauty Lounge is home to innovative and luxury express beauty treatments, and the UK’s first dedicated Beauty Concierge offering complimentary expert and impartial advice across all brands and instore beauty services.

Contracts Manager of Portview Fit-Out, Paul McGovern said:

“We have thoroughly enjoyed working closely with Harvey Nichols over the years to deliver award-winning fit-outs for their stores in Liverpool, Birmingham and Knightsbridge.

“The Beauty Lounge has been one of our most exciting retail projects to date, with a number of intricate, visually impactful design elements that really give it the wow factor it deserves.

“The completed look is a chic, modern store, where customers can comfortably immerse themselves in the decadent surroundings whilst exploring a plethora of beauty products and cutting edge treatments.

“The interior is the result of the hard work and collaboration of our team who are some of the best professionals in the field and have accomplished a remarkable feat through their can-do and creative approach. Not only is the Beauty Lounge an asset to Knightsbridge, but is undoubtedly the destination of choice for beauty lovers everywhere, and that’s something we’re exceptionally proud of.”

Five minutes with...
Simon Campbell
Managing Director, Portview Fit-Out

Tell me about Portview Fit-Out
Portview is a luxury fit-out contractor that specialises in translating creative concepts into iconic interiors.

Since our establishment in 1975, we have evolved from a small construction company into a dedicated fit-out specialist working with world renowned clients such as Aurum Holdings, Kate Spade New York, Metro Bank and Selfridges.

Our portfolio now consists of projects in the retail, hospitality and corporate sectors in the UK and Ireland, with projects ranging from £5,000 to £15 million.

How is the current economic climate affecting the shopfitting market? Has the company felt the effects?
Despite the wider uncertainty surrounding Brexit, Portview has actually benefitted from its immediate impact on the economy.

The weakening pound has prompted increased spending power amongst foreign shoppers, which has caused significant growth in the luxury goods market in London, with the positive effects trickling down the supply chain.

As a result, we’re now expecting our largest turnover to date, with clients continuing to invest in our services to meet with growing demand from customers in all sectors. Something we’re very happy about.

What was the biggest hurdle you encountered while working on this project?
A project of this size and scale is always met with challenges. In this case, two existing load-bearing walls measuring 600 millimetres wide, needed to be removed using a jacking system to open the space up and create a sense of fluidity.

This required installing a large steel frame to support the five storeys above, which proved to be a challenge due to the phased renovation of each section giving us very limited space to manoeuvre in.

As always, we rose to the challenge to enable successful completion of the project on time.

Where do you see shopfitting in the future?
The evolution of digital technology is turning store design on its head, with bricks and mortar stores now embracing in-store technology to provide a more streamlined, immersive shopping experience.

Harvey Nichols is a great example of this not only with the Beauty Lounge, but its award-winning concept store in Birmingham also.

Here we installed a 5m x 3.5m digital screen as a high impact alternative to traditional window displays in addition to other mod-cons such as digital way-finders, a 12-metre-long tunnel which features a state-of-the-art digital installation, 360 mirror, and phone charging points.

Thus, design briefs are becoming increasingly focused on incorporating ‘disruptive technology’ into the fabric of their stores as a means of reinvention and keeping customers engaged.

We also expect that digital technology will change the face of construction too, with the emergence of GPS surveying and BIM virtual reality.

Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge