DesignOffice 2 Superette Commercial Bay

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Mark Simpson
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Director
    Damien Mulvihill
  • Client
    Rickie Dee and James Rigden

Superette Commercial Bay represents a new chapter for a New Zealand fashion favourite. A raw concrete shell in Auckland’s newest retail destination is lined with sinuous white curves and layered with a materially rich and chromatically diverse palette to create a inspiring and invigorating fashion destination which invites customer exploration.

An anchor site in Commercial Bay’s brand new retail precinct was a raw blank canvas for Superette. The brief was to evolve the design language of the growing brand to suit the location and create a flexible, cost-effective and impactful retail experience informed by customer patterns and a deep understanding of brand personality needs.

A spatial journey was devised using purposeful tight curves and cranks to subtly guide customers through the store in a non-linear circulation that invites exploration and discovery. Whilst a central point of sale and fitting room suite act as anchors, a softer category delineation was employed to connect men’s, women’s, homes and accessories zones, with folded perforated ceiling panels overlaying a geometric rigour above. Flexible retail solutions include a suite of modular merchandising elements that can moved and replaced in response to changing needs, and a custom-designed perimeter wall system that acts as an adaptable merchandising gallery, whilst also defining the retail space from the lounge and support spaces.

Materially, the brand’s raw and monochromatic aesthetic was given a sharp new edge through the introduction of a contemporary palette of deep, saturated tones blending raw and refined textures, punctuated with acid yellow. This custom yellow gradient is applied to UV bonded glass elements in an unexpected and punchy use of colour, as an evolution of the brand’s visual language. The progressive material language includes the inventive use of raw poplar blockboard walls and plinths, in a striking palette with solid surface material, raw MDF wall lining, stainless steel, rubber and exposed concrete — softened by saturated green linoleum flooring and structured drapery.

A careful application of design focus and resources has resulted in a cost-effective solution demonstrating the potential of a modest budget — an always-important aspect of contemporary retail design. Base building conditions are embraced in the design, whilst opportunities are taken to create high impact where possible, such as in the meticulously detailed shopfront and entry.

Devising a retail concept that prioritises flexibility means the interior can be reconfigured seasonally and in response to market conditions, rather than requiring multiple fitouts that which are wasteful of materials, time and money. The ability to move, adapt and replace merchandising components—including hanging configuration, shelves, plinths and mirrors—provides sustainable solutions for the brand, increasing the functionality and longevity of the space.