May 30, 2019 | By Louise Squire
Sound system specialist Sonos is opening its first European concept store. And it’s more than just a store, with the company describing it as “a retail, exhibition, screening and listening space”.
It will open this Thursday in Seven Dials, the area adjacent to London’s Covent Garden that’s increasingly becoming a destination for luxury and tech-focused retailers.
The store has been designed to replicate the home environment and “showcase how Sonos fits seamlessly into any home environment,” it said.
Inspired by the brand’s NYC flagship, it features two “state-of-the-art” acoustically-tuned, house-shaped structures designed to emulate a real multi-room home listening space.
Visitors will be able to stream their personal music to one or both rooms and “create their own, unique sonic adventures”.
The company said it includes “vibrant textures that improve the overall acoustics, custom bevelled glass walls to reduce bounce, hand-woven rugs and bespoke bookshelves, [that] have all been carefully installed to help improve the sound.”
For launch, the firm worked with London-based artists Camille Walala and Neil Raitt. Inspired by their experiences of using the tech in their own homes, each artist has taken a Listening Room and “added their own unique perspective, with bespoke signature prints that cover the walls and ceilings”.
And from next year, Sonos will open up the listening rooms to further artists, providing them with a canvas to express their creativity, offering an evolving environment to discover and experience Sonos.
As mentioned, the space will also play host to an ongoing line-up of listening events, screenings, cultural talks and installations. The first of these events will celebrate David Bowie. To mark the release of the brand’s first-ever voice activated speaker, the Sonos One, it’s collaborating with cultural commentator Paul Gorman to curate a display of rarely seen images of David Bowie’s London life taken by photographers including Mick Rock, Brian Duffy, Rolf Adlercreutz (Alamy) and Mike Maloney.
Alongside this, it’s presenting Song Stories: Bowie – a series of “intimate events” hosted by Miranda Sawyer, honouring David Bowie’s work and legacy.
For the opening weekend, NTS Radio will also be broadcasting live from the store with a full 16-hour programme co-curated by DJ’s Ross Allen, Charlie Bones, Nabihah Iqbal and Bullion, with friends and special guests consisting of mixes, interviews and interesting conversations inspired by and celebrating Bowie.
Whitney Walker, general store manager at the firm said: “The entire store experience is based on the idea of being in a really comfortable and inspiring environment. We have carefully considered how people bring music into their home environment through curation, and used it within the concept store to pay homage to London and the culture that was born here and continues to inspire the world.”
The brand will open further European concept stores “soon” with a Berlin store already planned for a 2018 debut.
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