“It is perhaps inevitable that luxury brands should invest in architecture design as their primary source of outdoor advertising.”
From Learning from Louis Vuitton by Taro Igarashi in Louis Vuitton: Art, Fashion and Architecture
All architecture has a narrative that defines it. The source of that narrative is always different whether it’s an individual’s personal statement or an organisation’s values. In this sense architecture becomes advertising. Not only is architecture a billboard but a billboard you can walk into: an immersive experience.
No matter who created the narrative it is always the visitor who defines it. Upon entering an architectural space, the visitor engages in a dialogue with it. The building or space communicates with all the senses. The encounter for each individual is unique and has the potential to leave an impression that, if meaningful, will stay subconsciously for some time. It is through the creation of a unique and memorable space that we engage the use of narrative to convey a message. Architecture and interior design represent a powerful tool.
The unforgettable immersive nature of interiors is demonstrated with NY 11-18-02-10, an installation created by London studio Campaign for the luxury brand Dunhill in a New York warehouse for the city’s Fashion Week last year. The installation bridges different interior genres – retail, event and advertising – to transport the visitor into an ethereal interpretation of Bourdon House, the home of Alfred Dunhill in London, offering an opportunity to experience the atmosphere of this extraordinary Georgian house.
As a temporary installation, it only physically existed for two weeks, however due to the memorable experience it created has continued to deliver a message, via magazines, books and online, where the project has been discussed in over 200 blogs and articles to create a lasting memory of the space.
Considering this from a high street retail store’s point of view, interior design represents a valuable medium to deliver a brand story. ‘Architecture is advertising’ is the idea that will transform our high streets into a series of immersive billboards and brand lounges, where the premium of space will be too valuable to cram full with piles of products and instead evolve into alluring, interactive environments – imagine an advert that you can smell, touch and walk around. Brand advertising is not about what we are told but what we experience and how we connect physically and emotionally.