Sustainable Store Style: 12 Incredible Retail Interiors

No longer an afterthought, retail interior design has become so creative and beautiful in itself that it sometimes threatens to eclipse the products on display. Architects and designers charged with making a sustainable store design eye-popping and memorable are making unexpected use of all kinds of recycled, reclaimed and natural materials, often thinking inside the (cardboard) box for maximum visual impact with a small environmental footprint.

Eco Pop-Up Christmas Shop

(images via: treehugger)

How do you make a pop-up shop – well – pop? Lots (and lots) of fabric in a cute print gave this eco Christmas shop, erected in London in 2008, lots of color and personality. Fabric is a great relatively inexpensive and reusable material for such applications, ensuring that ‘temporary’ doesn’t mean ‘disposable’.

Low, Lisbon

(images via: ecofriend)

It’s cheap to ship, recyclable and requires no glue or finishes of any kind… yep, flat-pack cardboard is close to as green as it gets and highly appropriate for an eco-shop selling recycled goods. Designer Pedro Campos Costa created quite a work of art for ‘Low’ in Lisbon with his curvilinear bench/display.

PUMA Container Store

(images via: arch daily)

Shipping containers aren’t exactly the most aesthetically pleasing architectural building blocks in the world, but in the hands of the right designer, they can become something spectacular. The PUMA container store isn’t just portable and green, it’s quite stunning with its cantilevered deck and interior combination of sleek wood and industrial steel.

Ann Demeulemeester, Seoul

(images via: inhabitat)

Lush vertical greenery takes what is already a beautiful modern building design and makes it absolutely unforgettable. Korean design firm Mass Studies created this shop for Ann Demeulemeester in Seoul, contrasting the coldness of concrete and glass with the vitality and texture of moss.

Lulamae Cardboard Pop-Up Store

(images via: psfk)

Flat-pack cardboard is an ideal choice for pop-up shops, making it incredible quick and simple to transport and set up all of the materials needed to turn a bare space into a warm and welcoming boutique. Breathe Architects used a cut-out effect and black markers to turn a bunch of corrugated cardboard into a little village complete with columns, windows and awnings.

eBarrito Modular Cardboard

(images via: francesca signori)

What makes cardboard an even more interesting and visually arresting choice for eco-friendly shops? Contrasting its colorless uniformity with bright neon colors and luxe bamboo flooring. Designer Francesca Signori improvised the interior of this eBarrito shop in Cremona, Italy using cardboard tubes and pressed cardboard sheets.

Bearstech ‘Cave’, Paris

(images via: great interior design)

Salvaged waste wood is seemingly sucked up onto the ceiling in a bizarre vortex in French architect Paul Coudamy’s design for Bearstech in Paris. The wood was piled up and nailed in a configuration that the firm hoped would call to mind a bear’s cave, symbolizing both raw natural power and a den of creativity.

Smithfield Recycled Cardboard Interior, UK

(images via: great interior design)

Recycled mailing tubes and shipping boxes were used for practically every last element in this Manchester Smithfield’s, designed by Peter Masters from Burnt Toast. Wall hangings, columns, sculptures, décor – even light fixtures were artfully crafted from a material that is usually found in dumpsters, discarded without thought.

Yeshop, Athens


(images via: great interior design)

Yes, it’s more cardboard, but utilized in a new and refreshing way: the raw edges of repurposed shipping cartons present themselves in a texturalized, streamlined wall inset with shelves and a mirror. The design, which used 1500 sheets of cardboard, was a collaboration between designer Yiorgos Eleftheriades and dARCH Studio for the former’s Athens boutique, Yeshop.

Green Depot, NYC

(images via: inhabitat)

The first retail store in New York to receive a platinum LEED rating, Green Depot isn’t just the perfect place to pick up eco-friendly essentials from appliances to cleaning products – it’s also supremely green in itself. Starting with a carefully preserved historic building that once held a YMCA, the design maintains cool structural elements like pool tiles while incorporating modern green building elements including low VOC finishes and custom LED light fixtures.

Aesop’s Recycled Glass Ceiling, Adelaide

(images via: shaun hng)

Thousands of recycled amber glass bottles shimmer on the ceiling of Aesop in Adelaide, Australia, making for a stunning focal point in an otherwise minimalist interior. Aesop, maker of botanical skin care products, is known for putting the emphasis on its product packaging in meticulously arranged rows.

Aesop’s Cardboard Makeover, Melbourne

(images via: kostasvoyatzis)

Aesop’s Melbourne location was temporarily made over in 2007 using nothing but industrial-grade cardboard, assembled into boxes and laid out in flat stacks to display the shop’s white-labeled glass bottles. The repetition of the textured cardboard along with that of the nearly identical bottles makes for quite an unexpectedly beautiful visual effect.



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