Confession: For all the work I have done in the Bullring in Birmingham over the years I have never been in to the highly acclaimed Selfridges store. The weekend just gone I put that right. Wow was I impressed. I spent most of my visit walking around with my head in the clouds gawping and my iphone out (discreetly) photographing. The store internally is not unlike most department stores. Exposed ceilings show services and slab in black with various celing rafts, features and lighting hanging beneath to detract the wandering eye. This in itself is impressive as it is such a vast space to trick the eye from looking up at an unpleasant exposed slab is clever. As i moved in to the store, (girlfriend well in advance, bored of waiting for me) I am hit by a sensational set of escalators. A beautiful way-finding totem with shards of light running up its side sits at the bottom reinforcing the premium look and feel to this little section of the store. Little did i know that there were a whole lot more escalators and excitement to come. The central atrium of the store stretches up over 4 floors and is something to behold. Escalators criss-cross up to the skies, framed by a fluid glass opening at the top throwing light all the way down to the basement.
Everything in this space is sculpted and fluid. From the undersides of the escalators to the beautiful gloss balustrade . The great thing is the simplicity. The fact that it is just this space (and the other set of escalators I previously drooled over) that receives this futuristic/spaceship like treatment sets it out from the rest of the store and for me made the experience that much more exciting as it wasn’t overkill. I never knew escalators could be so good….