A space for silence

The architecture studio Alex Cochrane has created a space for shoppers in the Selfridges department store, in London, where they can find peace and tranquility amidst the bustle. The architects were inspired by the silence room created by the founder of these department stores, Gordon Selfridges, when he opened his first store in 1909.

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"Gordon Selfridge made a silent room many years ago and unfortunately there is no record of how that room looked then, so we made our own version," said Alex Cochrane.

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The room next to the cafeteria and between two elevators is not intended to be a noise-free bubble but a space where shoppers can lower their voice and take time to relax.

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Despite the background noise, or thanks to it, people can feel the silence of the room more intensely due to the contrast between the noise of the shopping area and the silence of the room.

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The visitor enters a dark corridor that surrounds the room, takes off his shoes and then finds a space covered in cream felt in its entirety, walls, floors and benches to sit or lie down. The felt helps muffle the noise and is also a warm and soft to the touch surface. The ceiling of the room has been maintained with air ducts but painted black to cushion its presence without disguising it.

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People can meditate, sleep and even pray in this pleasant space of silence. The led lighting has been placed below the benches to provide a soft and relaxing lighting. This project is part of the No Noise campaign that Selfridges stores carry out with the sale of limited editions of branded products that have a blank label, although they are easily recognizable by their classic packaging.

Photos: www.dezeen.com

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