Mooradian Studio sprays London boutique interior with recycled newspaper pulp

Architecture office Mooradian Studio used spray-on paper pulp to create a bumpy texture across the walls and ceilings of north London menswear store Natalino.

Taking over a former art gallery in Fitzrovia, Natalino’s first physical store was designed to reflect the brand’s garments.

Display tables and rails inside Natalino boutiqueDisplay tables and rails inside Natalino boutique
Natalino has opened its first physical store

“Nathan’s clothes use a lot of natural textures and you can often see how they’re constructed, so we wanted to capture those qualities in the interior,” studio founder Aram Mooradian told Dezeen.

Mooradian, who had recently travelled to Italy with a group of his students from the Architectural Association, was influenced by the contrast of rough and smooth stone surfaces at Carlo Scarpa’s famous Olivetti showroom in Venice.

Changing room of boutique in London by Mooradian StudioChanging room of boutique in London by Mooradian Studio
The store’s interior was designed by Mooradian Studio

After initially looking at using a sprayed plaster finish to achieve the desired effect, he came across a spray-on acoustic material from Dutch firm Acosorb that is made from recycled newspaper.

The material is more commonly used for sound absorption in music studios and restaurants as it helps to reduce reverberation and improves acoustics.

Paper-pulp sprayed walls in Natalino boutiquePaper-pulp sprayed walls in Natalino boutique
Spray-on paper pulp covers the walls and ceilings

Mooradian used the paper pulp to cover the store’s walls and ceilings alongside utilities such as pipes and ducting. This lends the space a feeling of cohesion in addition to providing the desired tactility.

“I think retail spaces are often about creating a sensory experience,” the architect said. “Spraying the entire store meant that we could create this atmosphere that wraps around and immerses you.”

The textured finish is created by blowing the compressed flaked-paper material onto the surfaces together with a non-toxic binding agent.

When the interior eventually needs to be refurbished, the material can be easily removed by soaking it with water so it can once again be recycled.

The use of recyclable materials also extends to the shop fittings, which were custom-made for the space from standard aluminium strips by designer-fabricators Mitre & Mondays.

A range of techniques including bending, folding, clamping and notching were used to create various metal display structures that can be adapted to fit differently-sized garments.

Display rails inside boutique in London by Mooradian StudioDisplay rails inside boutique in London by Mooradian Studio
Custom-made aluminium rails are used to display clothing

The components are attached using simple mechanical bolts, allowing them to be easily taken apart and reconfigured or recycled at the end of their lifespan.

The display structures incorporate hanging rails and table surfaces, while angled aluminium shelves recessed into the wall are used to display shirts, knitwear and jeans.

A fitting area in one corner of the space features a curtain made from UK-sourced waxed cotton that is suspended from a curved track.

Metal rail inside Natalino boutique in London by Mooradian StudioMetal rail inside Natalino boutique in London by Mooradian Studio
The aluminium was bent, folded and clamped into shape

The graphic identity for Natalino was created by design agency Polytechnic, which also owns Bodney Road Studios in east London where Mooradian has his office.

Aram Mooradian established his studio in 2018 after completing his studies at the Architectural Association. The studio focuses on reusing materials as part of a “gentle building philosophy” that also engages with contemporary craft practices.

Other reversible shop interiors that have recently been featured on Dezeen include On-Off in Milan, which features a flexible gridded shelving system, and London’s Present & Correct store with its demountable wooden joinery.

The photography is by Thomas Adank.

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