A new concept in fine wine retailing, Hedonism Wines in Mayfair is a sophisticated wine boutique anticipated to become a key destination for wine enthusiasts and collectors from across the globe. Located in an area of London where fashion, luxury and heritage come together it was vital to create a strong first impression from outside, and to carry that through to the striking interiors designed by Universal Design Studio. Using light as an integral element to create the store’s character and identity after dark, Speirs + Major developed an animated “Living Light” effect using video projection.
Inside, one of the toughest challenges was to develop the lighting scheme for an environment with the strict requirement to maintain an ambient temperature of precisely 16°C on lower ground floor and 17°C on ground floor. These temperatures are required to preserve the merchandise at optimum condition, and to achieve this it was realized from the outset that it would need to be a 100% LED scheme.
External ‘Living Light’
At the early stage of the project, an analysis of the store’s location and orientation showed a high volume of passers-by in cars and by foot during the hours after the store is closed. By night, the storefront needed to have enough impact that it would engage curiosity and promote return visits. Given that the two key street facing elevations are fully glazed, the approach to the nighttime scene was to use the internal lighting to create the external image. A ‘living light’ concept was proposed in the store, using video projection with unique themed video content. The content is adaptable for seasons and events offering the client the possibility to refresh their after dark identity, considered essential given the store’s close proximity to fashion brands who are well versed in updating displays.
The design of the light is layered, with accent, display and ambient lighting intended bring out the best in the merchandise . In response to the light and airy interior scheme proposed by Universal Design Studio for the ground floor, glass pendant luminaires reminiscent of champagne bubbles draw the eye away from the accent lighting fixtures that are focused toward key display counters. The red wines found on the lower ground floor are primarily lit by low hung copper pendants concentrating attention around the central display units, and enhancing the cellar-like atmosphere. The sources of accent lighting and perimeter shelf lighting are carefully integrated into the architecture so as to be imperceptible, allowing the visual focus to be kept on the merchandise.
To draw attention to the central staircase that connects the two floors, a bespoke lighting installation was proposed, turning it into a sparkling focal point. Created from upended wine glasses mounted at varying heights, the organic sculptural form is inspired by the contour lines of a vineyard. Individual LEDs illuminate each glass, forming a dazzling three-dimensional effect. The jewel in the crown of the shop, the Chateau d’Yquem collection, has been turned into a series gemstones in their own right. A concealed fibre optics system lights through the distinctive golden honey coloured liquid allowing the bottles to glow from within. The effect is supplemented by homogeneous LED backlighting integrated within the cabinet, which is activated via a PIR sensor when a customer approaches the display.