Set inside Monaco’s historic Oceanographic Institute, Blue Beauty Lab is where buyers and other industry insiders can come to expand their knowledge of the science underpinning Biotherm‘s skincare line.
Although the 30-square-metre concept store showcases a selection of the brand’s products, none of them are for sale. Instead, visitors can fully immerse themselves in the experience of being in the “lab”.
“Brands are increasingly looking to physical presence for means above and beyond selling products,” explained Satoshi Isono, creative director at Universal Design Studio.
“They’re harnessing spaces to storytell their core brand messaging in unique ways and ultimately connect with customers in a more impactful way.”
As the outer walls of Blue Beauty Lab back onto water tanks harbouring various aquatic creatures, Universal Design Studio had to keep architectural interventions to a minimum. As a result, the store’s floor plan is fairly simple.
To enter, visitors walk through a circular doorway and a short mirrored tunnel. The interior is washed in sea-blue light and split into two parts.
The first is an area reminiscent of a research lab that gives an insight into the production process of Life Plankton – an extract containing 35 different nutrients that Biotherm incorporates throughout some of its moisturisers, serums and skin peels.
Stainless steel counters and glass shelving units run down the sides of the space, dotted with science paraphernalia like microscopes, petri dishes, test tubes and measuring flasks.
A small workshop forms the second part of the store, centred by a round table. Directly above is a large ring light emitting a bright white glow that enhances the lab-like feel of the space.
The clinical aesthetic of laboratories has also inspired a number of other interiors.
Among them is a bike shop in Copenhagen by local designer Johannes Torpe and a cafe in Tokyo with a white-lacquered steel ceiling grid.
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