Homegrown brand Local’s latest branch in Abu Dhabi offers its guests – especially men – a place to pamper themselves in a cosy, 150-sq-m industrial setting.
Combining a men’s barber, a specialty coffee shop and an exclusive sneaker and streetwear store, Local’s outlet at Mamsha Al Saadiyat caters to the hipster subculture and stays true to its origins for its interiors, celebrating materials and design features in their raw form.
The three spaces – food and beverage (F&B), grooming service and retail – have their distinct identity, yet the overall concept unites them in the industrial setting that oozes the coolness of an urban loft, according to the Bahrain-headquartered interior décor contractor Havelock One.
“Decorative concrete, ceramic tiling, glass, powder-coated and stainless steel are the most dominant materials. The open ceiling features galvanised steel spiral duct pipes in a prominent way. Furthermore, the industrial design elements are juxtaposed with greenery as well as millwork and loose furniture made of oak timber, which creates a sense of warmth and welcome,” says a spokeswoman for Havelock One, which oversaw the turnkey fit-out and worked with different subcontractors to provide bespoke solutions.
The interior designer was shell+core, which added a layer of beach allusion to reflect the surroundings of the new location. In line with the beach theme, the serving counter is inspired by the natural undulations of the sea and the translucency of water.
Jade Daniel and Ghalia Korban, Co-Founders of shell+core, came up with the idea of integrating mirrors into the shelving behind the corrugated glass façade, mimicking the subtle reflections of the sun on the waves of the sea. Glass specialist Mirodec contributed the bespoke transparent glass veneer. The timber louvre bulkhead detail over the counter was manufactured by Seekers Furnishing.
Stark was nominated to carry out the structural metal and glassworks for the glazed steel-frame enclosure that is now the barbershop.
“The design of the barbershop is inspired by a typical greenhouse, allowing guests of the cafe and shoppers to observe the grooming process from a distance,” explains the spokeswoman. “Similarly, the retail section is minimalistic, reducing form to function, just to build an adequate backdrop and space to present the unique products of the niche concept store.”
For the final outcome, the client, shell+core and Havelock One took a truly collaborative approach, evolving the store design further as it was getting built. Consequently, Local combines a unique business model, interior design and craftsmanship to attract a sophisticated audience that enjoys great coffee, pampering and an elevated shopping experience, she adds.
Meanwhile, Havelock One has recently delivered a unique retail pop-up store that has been fitted out for fashion and fragrance business Puig’s Paco Rabanne kiosk at Qatar Duty Free.
“Havelock One has been manufacturing pop-up stores since 2019. However, Phantom is our first travel retailtainment kiosk created under the supervision of our retail setting-out team. The store concept is unique, too, because of its ‘retailtainment’ feature, wherein the buyer is actively engaged with an AI-powered retailtainment game called ‘Dance with Phantom’,” explains the spokeswoman.
The Phantom cologne for men by Paco Rabanne – described as a ‘futuristic aromatic’ scent combining new technologies with luxury perfumery craftsmanship – was launched by Puig exclusively in airports.
Elaborating on the company’s work on the project, she says: “A kiosk design and manufacturing process requires intricate planning and attention to detail. For this project, our setting-out team assessed the materials required and their dimensions; produced as-built drawings from the concept and sourced the complete hardware. Subsequently, we teamed up with a lighting company, procured LED screens and other gadgets with the support of our IT team’s expertise.
“To replicate the structure of the kiosk exactly as shown in 3D visuals, our metal team had to determine the mechanical calculations required for the two-angled metal legs to hold the 600 kg canopy at a height of 7.55 ft. We assembled the finished components and made sure all the hardware worked in sync as per client expectation and tested the software before the structure’s dispatch. Extra care was taken by creating custom-made shipping crates to transport the kiosk and to ensure we delivered it damage free and ready for use.”
Phantom was launched at Qatar Duty Free on July 2021 and later shipped to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.