PREVIEW - NEW NAU GALLERY & UPDATED SYDNEY SHOWROOM

We're celebrating our 20-year anniversary with an extension of our Sydney showroom - the same location where Cult was founded two decades ago - and the opening of a new NAU Gallery to showcase our Australian collection. Here, we share a sneak preview in the lead up to the opening of both spaces on the 26th of February. 


To mark our 20-year anniversary, we have commissioned Melbourne-based architecture and interior design practice, DesignOffice, to update our flagship Sydney showroom and extend into a neighbouring warehouse space to form an extension of the existing Cult Sydney Showroom to house our new Australian collection, NAU.

 

Having previously designed the signature steel staircases in our Melbourne showroom, this collaboration with DesignOffice is a natural evolution that pays hommage to the growth and changing structure and requirements of the Sydney showroom over the years.

 

Over the last two decades, we have grown our collection of prominent design brands to represent a strong portfolio of 30+ brands across furniture, lighting and accessories, including our own Australian collection, NAU. With the showroom extension, in our twentieth year we are proud to introduce new partnerships with strong international brands from Denmark and Italy including Karakter Copenhagen, Nanimarquina, Zanotta, Tecno, Montana, Louis Poulsen, VIPP and Design Letters.

 

These new brands fit naturally into the Cult collection with their aesthetics and strong sense of craftsmanship. With Montana, VIPP and Nanimarquina we are moving into new market segments, giving our clients a more complete offering that includes shelving and storage systems as well as kitchen and bathroom solutions and soft furnishings. Zanotta and Karakter Copenhagen extend our range of classic design icons, and Tecnno's range of technological innovations elevate our workplace and commercial solutions. Moreover, Louis Poulsen strengthens our lighting collection and Design Letters is a welcome addition to our accessories and range. Stay tuned as we share more on our new brands following the launch of the new showroom.

 

Following the launch of our own brand NAU in 2017, we are excited to open the first stand-alone NAU Gallery space to showcase the collection of furniture and lighting by a collective of Australian designers. The design brief for the new NAU gallery includes creating an open, multi-functional showroom, gallery and event space.

 

Responding to the brief, lead designers of DesignOffice, Mark Simpson and Damien Mulvihill, explain their concept: "The new showroom is housed within a very simple existing structure, without any of the heritage features of the existing buildings. It reads as an annex, or quite literally a 'lean to' to the existing showroom. We wanted to retain the spatial simplicity of this building, and draw on references of Australian vernacular buildings, to create a contemporary, restrained gallery space, which allowed the product to be the feature."

 

The full extent of the Cult showroom will also be opened up to Levey Street with a series of new display windows. Further elaborating, Mark Simpson and Damien Muvihill add: "We wanted to be respectful to the existing buildings and allow them to retain their individual character, but articulate the window forms to unite the buildings together under the Cult brand."

 

Here we share a few sneak peeks of the inspiration behind the design of the extended showroom and new NAU gallery, along with material palettes and sketches.


 

Lead designers of DesignOffice, Mark Simpson and Damien Mulvihill, were briefed to update the existing Cult showroom and design a new extension to house Cult's Australian collection of furniture, NAU. The design challenges were varied; better connecting the three adjoining heritage warehouses, stronger street presence and defined entry, more natural light and more defined branded areas. 

DEFINE STRATEGIC & CONFIDENT INTERVENTIONS | Define new elements as simple and confident insertions. Take inspiration from the Cult Melbourne staircase to establish a consistent language across showrooms. Develop the existing stairs, lighting display and branded areas to create a suite of relatable forms with an edited palette. 

ESTABLISH CONNECTIONS BETWEEN SPACES | Create new apertures between spaces to provide physical and visual connections. Enhance way-finding and improve flow through expanded awareness of the overall showroom environment. Provide views through to the other product ranges and create apertures to facilitate personal journeys. 

SUBTLE LIFESTYLE CUES WITH GREENERY AND DAYLIGHT | Insert pockets of greenery to provide animation and variation through both interior and exterior. Increase natural light to draw the eye up, down and across. 

UNIFY THE EXISTING ARCHITECTURAL SHELL | Create a design overlay to edit and refine the existing structure and finishes to articulate a considered composition. Maximise use of daylight and complement this with a flexible suite of architectural lighting with consistent colour temperature. 

CREATE VISUAL DEPTH | Maximise use of natural light, and supplement with artificial light to create depth and variation through the showroom. Introduction of visual dwell points to draw people through the long linear spaces and provide staged focus. Introduce screens and backdrops to provide focused settings. Create new apertures between spaces to provide visual cues revealing the full collection. 

CREATE MODERN INSERTIONS INTO THE HISTORIC FACADE | Introduce display windows and increase Cult street presence, with steel framing for visual weight to highlight the displays. 

The material palette for the renovation and extension includes a considered base palette to provide a clean and calm backdrop with accents of light timber, olive green, perforated steel and light grey rubber to compliment yet modernise the existing heritage brickwork and aged timber. 

 

Concept sketch of the exterior of the Cult Sydney showroom, showcasing new window displays for more street presence; slick modern insertions to the existing heritage structures. 

Concept sketch of the updated entry to the Cult showroom, including new display platforms built into the stairs, and a dedicated lighting area to showcase our full lighting portfolio. 

Concept sketch of level one at the Cult Sydney showroom, with the addition of new platforms and lighting tracks. 

Concept sketch of the new NAU Gallery; a large extension to the Cult Sydney showroom to house our new Australian collection NAU. 

Both the extended Cult Sydney Showroom and NAU Gallery open on 26 February 2018. To request a guided walk through the new spaces and brands, please email marketing@cultdesign.com.au.