Thomas Ford House, 1st Floor, 23-24 Smithfield Street, London, EC1A 9LF, UK
With over thirty years’ experience in the industry, Callum Lumsden started his career as an in-house designer at Jaeger, and then worked for Fitch, before going on to set up on his own in 1994, forming the current incarnation of Lumsden in 2011.
With experience in the creation of a broad range of retail projects, Callum and his team have created a niche for themselves, designing stores for some of the most admired museums, galleries and visitor attractions around.
For the Warner Bros. Studio Tour – the Making of Harry Potter, they created a number of distinctive features from a railway shop at Platform 9¾ and a Butterbeer bar, but most exciting of all is the store which captures the essence of Ollivander’s dusty and chaotic wand shop. Even if you’re not a Harry Potter fan, the theatrical space creates nooks and crannies that are just too inviting not to be explored further.
In New York, MoMA’s Design Store is a retail destination in its own right, attracting visitors to the museum, passing tourists and design-loving locals from NY who come to shop the store’s curated retail collections. Away from their home town, MoMA is now opening further stores in Japan, a definite accolade to their translation of MoMA’s values to an international audience.
The rich culture of the theatre is brought to life in the National Theatre’s store in London, with merchandising displays that help animate the product. The space even features a relaxed reading corner for visitors to peruse the thousands of books on sale. The glowing red and rich timber tones draw audiences’ attention from across the foyer in a concept which is mindful of both the broad range of visitors to the theatre and Denys Lasdun’s iconic 1970s brutalist architecture.
Other projects include a highly flexible concept for the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester, which needs to be able to constantly adapt to the changing merchandise of sale and a boutique for the National Gallery of Canada, with displays that reflect materials and design of architect Moshe Safdie’s building.
Entering into purer retail is Lumsden’s concept for bespoke jeweller Harriet Kelsall. Storytelling is central to the design, immersing customers into the process of commissioning and providing them with inspiration. Unlike many traditional retailers, the store design encourages customers to interact with the space, all part of the customer’s journey to create a piece of jewellery that is unique to them.
Continuing their hugely successful work with two of their long-term clients, Lumsden has recently helped Warner Bros. expand The Making of Harry Potter hospitality and retail experience from 6,000 to 9,000sq.ft. Three new cafés have been added to the London destination, featuring props and meticulous detailing that transport you into Harry’s magical world. There are also additional retail spaces, each of which feels like a theatrical film set and exudes the fun the team must have had designing them.
Over in New York, they have revisited MoMA, working on a collaborative project to design a new flagship store. Beautifully crafted, as ever, the bright and airy space spans two storeys and has a timeless design, requisite of products displayed and repute of this world-famous art institution.
Lumsden’s concepts always demonstrate an understanding of the cultural values of each of their clients, which they sensitively interpret into their stores, to create highly immersive and equally commercial environments that cleverly extend the visitor’s experience of the venue.
Speak to the ever-affable Callum, he knows his stuff!
Photo Credit: MoMA NY, Noah Kalina