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'Industrial Cathedral of Fashion'

Housed in a former police station, the interior of new Amsterdam streetwear hotspot Precinct 5 designed by KUUB with Pieter Kool, makes a high visual impact on a low budget.

By Jeanne Tan / 17-12-2009

A brief from a well known Amsterdam DJ (Mr.Wix) to design a high end fashion store for streetwear in the centre of the city sounds like a dream to any young architectural practice - even on a low budget and with a tight deadline. And the extra plus of the project: the space was located on the top two floors of a former police station in a canal house.

Armed with a clever set of design tactics, KUUB with Pieter Kool, set about transforming the space literally into the high temple of street fashion that is Precinct 5. The starting point became the structure of the space itself. "The overall design concept was to reveal the space, demolish and create a luxury shell with a modular and flexible interior", explains Jos van Dijk from KUUB. "We ended up blending four concepts into one, from which modularity, flexibility, architectural lines, volumes and space were most important."

The newly revealed structure and raw concrete flooring provided a dramatic base for the fitout. Keeping in line with the low budget and tight construction deadlines, modular elements were the key to furnishing the space fast to maximum visual effect. The 'Kube' was devised, a rectangular element made of black metal tubes that can be assembled to compose various sculptural, spatial elements - both freestanding and suspended - from display cases to the staircase to a work bench. Each unit measures 130x430x430 cm.

The graphic quality of the black metal lines complemented the approach for the identity designed by Experimental Jetset. "The logo system is inspired by the fact that Precinct 5 is located in an old police station", explains the trio. "Almost immediately, we were thinking of using a set of bars (more precisely, a set of five bars) to refer to this police theme. When we saw the drawings of the architects, we realized we were on the right track: the interior featured constructions very reminiscent of bars as well." To exaggerate the idea of the bars and create movement in the logo, the bars were bent. In this way, different versions of the logo could be created which were applied to different elements from business cards to badges, swing tags, stickers and an instore neon sign.

Precinct 5 will be the home of the first Dutch Stussy store, and Enplus, stocking also Headporter+Porter, Original Fake, Bedwin and the Heartbreakers, Deluxe, Garbstore, Myktita, Moscot, Adidas Originals by Jeremy Scott and Kazuki, A.P.C. jeans, Norse Projects, Ransom and Ransom, Adidas Footwear and Gourmet Footwear, Wings & Horns, Nike Sportswear, Denham the Jeanmaker, Mendo Books, Concerto Music. Precinct 5 is a collaboration between Patta, Malvin Wix and Massive Music.

Precinct 5
Singel 459, AmsterdamPhotography: Marcel van der Burg

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