Notting Hill Gate, London, UK

Paul Smith’s first flagship store, Westbourne House realised his dream to have a shop in the informal setting of a house. This grand Kensington townhouse was transformed from a near wreck, which necessitated substantial rebuilding using a steel frame to pin back the facades. The previously chaotic internal arrangement was simplified, and a toplit central stair constructed in glass allows natural light into the heart of the house. There are 2 rooms (shop departments) at each floor. The Dining Room (accessories), The Playroom (children’s wear) and so on. The clothes are displayed in furniture which was designed to loosely evoke furniture that you might find in a house. Dresses in wardrobes, jewellery in a glass topped dining table, display cabinets in picture frames.

We were involved in all areas of the design from the building foundations to the doorhandles and advised on packaging and display.

Designed and constructed in 1998, it is an enduring store which has always remained welcoming and joyful, in the spirit of Paul Smith. Through the years it has given space to its own family stories – among which that of Edie Campbell, now a successful model in her own right, who can be seen here in the pictures of the Westbourne House Playroom happily riding around on a tricycle, age 8.

Westbourne House has been featured in magazines worldwide, with over a hundred pages of publicity, and received 2 architectural awards.

As a result of the success of this store, we were asked to design a store for Paul Smith in Milan.

Project featured in the following books:

  • “Fashion Retail” Published UK 2004 Wiley-Academy.
  • “The Inspired Retail Space” Published USA 2003, Rockport Publishers.
  • Shops and Boutiques 2000. Published PBC International through St Martins Press, New York.
  • New Retail, Rasshied Din, Published Conran Octopus 2000, London.

Photographs by Edina Van der Wyck