‘Chicken coop’ retail space wins international award

December 1, 2009

An experimental retail installation in Melbourne Central inspired by a chicken coop has scooped an IFI design award.

Melbourne firm Matt Gibson Architecture & Design has been recognised by the 2009 IFI Design Excellence Awards, winning a Retail Design Award for multifunctional retail installation, The Coop.

The experimental retail tenancy located in Melbourne Central is based on the incubator concept of a chicken coop. Matt Gibson describes the project as, “a conceptually clean container expressing a rudimentary constructivist aesthetic which turns its head away from the slick and flashy of mainstream retail”.

The IFI – the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers – runs the annual awards program to highlight some of the best interior designs from around the world. Projects that have won awards on a national level can be submitted, with Australian projects put forward for the awards by the Design Institute of Australia.

IFI judges, chaired by Madeline Lester, described The Coop as, “a very clever spatial solution incorporating fantastic detailing… it is practical and honest but still encourages a unique retail experience.” The awards were announced at the IFI congress, held in Dubai in November.

The Coop’s low cost, quirky, functional and robust space is also flexible, allowing different tenants to transform the space for their specific requirements. Located in a disused corridor in Melbourne Central, it is leased by tenants for one year, designed to transform tenants’ and consumers’ ideas about the functions of retail spaces.

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