Having opened five permanent stores across Germany and Holland last year, the online-first spectacle and sunglasses label Ace & Tate is quickly becoming a dab hand at Euro-centric creative collaboration. For the latest in its string of design-led stores – this time in Hamburg – the Dutch brand has pooled talent from both its home town and the new flagship’s locale. Teaming up with Dutch design agency Standard Studio for the third time, the brand conceived of a maze-like space in which semi-transparent walls demarcate different zones within the store. The Berlin-based, Bauhaus-inspired design team New Tendency was called upon yet again, providing grid-like shelving redolent of the constructivist style.
As Ace & Tate owner and founder Mark de Lange explained of the Schanzenstrasse location, ‘The “Hide and Seek” theme and maze concept was inspired by the sense of discovery that we felt while walking around Hamburg. The city has many sides to it and as you turn each corner you’re faced with something different, so we were keen to reflect this in our store design. The maze-like structure allows people to really feel like they’re exploring.’
The store’s colourful, graffiti-like facade
Sleek, modernist frames aren’t the only discoveries to be made in-store. In homage to the vibrant and creative district the shop inhabits, local artist Stefan Marx emblazoned a partition with a fruit-themed mural in his trademark illustrative scrawl. Marx’s handwriting extends to the bespoke neon signage hanging throughout the shop, his loose, casual script wrought in orange light, enhancing the playful mood of the space.
The theme of exploration continues via an installation courtesy of Smallville Records – a space where shoppers can pause and sample the label’s expert curation of hard-to-find music (on vinyl, of course).