Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA), a multidisciplinary firm specialising in the planning and design of museums, exhibits, educational environments and visitor attractions, has announced that it has continued its creative collaboration with Lavazza, following the success of its award-winning Museo Lavazza at the company’s headquarters in Turin and the factory tour design for its speciality coffee brand Lavazza Casa 1895.
This new Flagship Store in Soho, London, is the brand’s first store outside of Italy and is second only to its Flagship Store in Milan. It opened to the public on 20 September 2021 and is the ideal location for hundreds of daily visitors, as they enjoy a coffee to drink in or to takeaway.
Inspired by the spirit of Lavazza
RAA worked on the experience design for the Flagship Store, responding to the challenges presented by the pandemic to make sure that guests can have a quality Lavazza experience in a safe, socially distanced manner. The design takes inspiration from the brand’s values, stories and distinctive spirit of Italianità.
The customer journey features a number of offers and experiences set across two storeys. As they enter on the ground floor, visitors can have an authentic Italian Caffetteria experience as they order their coffee at the bar, beneath a bespoke design coffee bean chandelier. There are both high and low seating areas around the bean-shaped counter. Meanwhile, the walls feature a fresco-style brand story, telling Lavazza’s 120-year history.
At the back of the store is an area themed around the speciality coffee brand, Lavazza 1895 Coffee Designers, where guests can buy quality coffee and take part in a special tasting experience. For those wanting a quick takeaway coffee, there is a separate entrance in Argyll Street, where the decor communicates Lavazza’s sustainability, as well as its environmental and ethical work practices.
On the first floor, guests can eat and drink in the Gastronomia & Coffee Design, which celebrates Lavazza’s collaborations with some of the world’s leading chefs as well as its focus on coffee design. The fresco-style story walls continue here, blending Lavazza’s iconic imagery from past to present with dynamic illustrations, leading to a vertical garden feature wall with real green planting.
RAA also designed the hoardings that were outside as construction was taking place, which echoed the murals and illustrations that feature inside.
More than a coffee shop
“The UK coffee market is primarily made up of chains, but at Lavazza, we are introducing a completely different concept than what’s currently available for the UK coffee lovers and enthusiasts,” says Pietro Mazzà, regional director UK & Nordics and general manager Lavazza UK.
“So much more than a coffee shop, Lavazza’s London Flagship store will introduce consumers from the UK and abroad to the world of great Italian coffee, to be enjoyed in all its different forms, taking them on a journey from bean to cup and immersing them in the very best that Lavazza has to offer. Not only through authentic coffee experiences, but also through top gastronomy, design, culture and more.”
“As part of Lavazza’s internationalisation process, the UK is one of the key markets for our business, so the Lavazza London Flagship store represents a strategic investment for us as a global brand and reinforces our dedication to the local market,” adds Gloria Bagdadli, global retailing director, Lavazza Group. “We are so proud to finally open the doors to a store allowing us to connect to our UK and international consumers on a new level, with tangible Lavazza brand experiences.”
Building on previous work with Lavazza
Phillip Tefft, director of RAA London says: “It is a huge privilege to continue our creative collaboration with Lavazza, building on the success of our work at the Lavazza Museum and the Factory 1895 experience to develop an immersive café and retail experience right here on our doorstep in London. RAA’s design team has risen to the challenges of social distancing and has created yet another memorable experience for the public instilled with the spirit of the iconic Italian brand.”
“The Flagship store aims to convey an authentic Lavazza experience and reveal the inexpressible spirit of italianità right here in the heart of London,” says Mirko Cerami, project director. “It has been wonderful to have this opportunity to collaborate with Lavazza once more – as an Italian living and working in London, it has been an honour to bring the spirit of Lavazza here to the UK with this iconic new destination.”
Mat Mason, lead graphic designer, adds: “Having developed the graphic design approach for both the Museum and Factory 1895 experience, it’s fantastic to see it now applied to a flagship experience just off Regent Street. Our visual communication design is embedded throughout the fabric of the store. It has a playfulness that invites exploration and promotes a deeper understanding of Lavazza’s impressive 120-year history.”
This summer, RAA has also been working with London’s Imperial War Museum (IWM) on the design of its new Second World War Galleries.
All images credit Marco Joe Fazio