HUSK on Collins is a retail, clothing and lifestyle store, one of 3 in Melbourne. HUSK encourages ethical clothing manufacture and searches the world for its products. The site on Collins is in the Theatre strip, opposite the Regent and 2 doors away from the Atheneum also adjacent many global retail stores such as Chanel & Gucci.
Originally the 19th Century Building was an apothecary and measures were taken to continue a mysterious retail passage with many hidden potions and treasures inside. The somewhat mind altering interior with it’s intoxicating, infinite reflections and cavernous persian enclosure brings many disparate and dreamy references into the one retail space, much as the HUSK products hark from many different corners of the globe.
The internal space posed a challenge due to a 70sqm space at the front, an 800mm narrow corridoor to the rear space of 25sqm. How to lur the shopper back? Mirror has been mentioned in the architectural statement. The Plan exerts a suck or pull motion toward the rear of the store into the mirrored vortex. One is transformed beyond the corridoor behind silk curtains and emerges, like a jeanie in Melbourne’s finest selection of garments.
HUSK Collins Street is a little like the chalk drawings in Mary Poppins. The allure of a mystrious other world may entice a shopper in to wander and purchase. Once inside the store deals with a tricky exisiting internal footprint by treating a corridoor with a hall of mirrors. Part of the brief was to “deal with” a corridoor that leads to the changerooms. The mirrors provide passive surveilance of the shopper / shoplifter and explode the restricting corridoor into a space of possibilities. The persian arches, an imperitive of the client, lean away from the walls taking them from ‘shelf’ to ‘sculpture’. Back lit with the faint images of the Australian Bush – HUSK merges ‘Authentic Australian’ with ‘Exotic Other’. Found objects are seen but the Brush Box underfoot excites our more sticking sense – the smell of home.