“initially you learn that all customers are different, design is not magic and there is no universal creative process that suits all projects. The creative process is always based on the customer’s perspective and the customer’s brand”, Lars Alfredsson says, one out of two interior designers at Studio Streck; a design agency in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Studio Streck creates retail designs, commercial projects and private residences and work with brands such as Telenor, Brothers, Morris, Thomas Sabo and Kappahl.
It was in the summer of 2014 that Studio Streck, came in contact with Pontus Svenheimer and his ideas of how their family business could evolve in the future. Cederleüf & Svenheimer has the wisdom and knowledge of three generations and they produce locally baked pastries in the Gothenburg region.
“We started talking about their sales channels and formed a mission based on designing a new interior concept and applying it to their bakery situated in the Allum shopping centre outside of Gothenburg” Lars says.
Creating an image
In the autumn of 2014 they started analysing and generating sketches of the concept together with the customer.
”For us it is important that the customer is involved in the process. If made to feel involved he or she will most likely also be pleased with the result. It is also important to listen to the customer and try not to fulfil oneself by using only your own ideas “, Lars says.
When working with a concept Studio Streck start by creating an image of what the customer wants and what they can achieve.
“It was very important for us to get to know the company and the people running it”, Martin Häger, the other interior designer at Studio Streck, continues.
Lars and Martin learned about the company, how it all started, what has happened on the way, what they do well and less well.
“When creating a concept with a customer it is crucial to be able to adjust the project to the customer’s organisation and resources and also to define the mission”, Martin says.
Much of the knowledge used when creating the concept came from the sketches, watchwords and input from those meetings. 3D-programs such as ArchiCAD were also used to visualise the result.
“We discovered all the history that defines a family owned company”, Lars says.
“It was always clear that the tradition and craftsmanship, that has been in the company since 1962, were strong brand values”, Martin continues.
“The process that leads to the finished product is mostly just as important as the result. Economy, time and quality are often high priorities”, Lars Alfredsson says.
After analysing the brand a rather usual process proceeded with sketches and suggestions that slowly but steadily shaped a whole that could be defined in drawings, requests and production.
“As I said, no magic, just hard work”, Martin says.
One challenge in the project was the position of the shop.
“It is situated in a fantastic location that has great potential in the shopping centre. It is also an unusual position as it is partly situated in the walkways which means it is partially open plan”, Lars says.
Studio Streck are very pleased with the result. The new concept presents a more open space in which you come closer to the products and the customers can pick and choose their merchandise themselves, which was one of the customer’s requests.
It was also important that the knowledge and eco consciousness of the brand were reflected in the store, from materials and colours to luminaires. The redesign should stimulate sales and make the pastries and bread look even better.
Cederleüf and Svenheimer is now a comfortable bakery where it is easy to grab a coffee or just buy something tasty to bring home after a shopping spree.
Lars and Martin also got the opportunity to develop the customer’s graphic identity and included Ola Ingvarsson from the company OID to be a part of the project team; a team that later on also included key suppliers for the construction, interior design and lighting.
When it comes to lighting all the regular stated criteria were fulfilled in the project, such as reliability, good lighting comfort, at the right price.
“It was important to create a safe and comfortable ambience with lighting. Due to the open plan layout it became a challenge to create an atmosphere in the bakery while not being affected by the harsh general lighting of the shopping centre”, Martin says.
Fagerhult delivered a lighting concept with the medium beamed LED-spotlight Marathon. The spotlights provided both general light as well as highlighting the displays and cashier area. To avoid glare in the cashier area honeycomb accessories were used.
Studio Streck has a good experience of Fagerhult’s lighting from earlier projects.
“The combination of products and knowledge is very high. We trust Fagerhult to consider the customer and the interior, as well as delivering the best light for the project”, Lars says.
Lighting is a very important part in a project for Lars and Martin.
“It is two sides of the same coin, when you illuminate something it stands out but you must also have something to illuminate, to make good use of the lighting. When designing furniture or an environment you often consider how the lighting should be used to create the right atmosphere. This is when it is beneficial to include a lighting designer early in the project to include that expertise. The luminaire is also a piece of “furniture” that needs to be designed like any other interior”, Lars says.
Outlook on the future
The switch from traditional fluorescent lamps to LED lighting is one way to make important energy savings with the help of lighting. They also focus on making sustainable design by not following too many trends but rather by adapting the project to the customer’s existing and prospective needs.
“One part of sustainability lies in the design, one part in the production, and one part in the administration. Generally it is hard to affect the whole chain. We focus on sustainability in those areas where we can make an impact”, Lars says.
Lars and Martin think that sustainable awareness will increase, just as it does in other businesses.
“The talk of changing concept is getting more and more unusual; instead you talk about developing and changing. Perhaps it is because of this that you work more with sustainable design today”, Martin says.
They both see an interesting future to come.
“It will be interesting to see how online shopping will work alongside the physical store. Today that is a rapid development, though a rather young phenomenon, that will probably increase in the future.” Martin says.
Now Lars and Martin will continue working with developing concepts for the future.
“We think Cederleüf & Svenheimer have a unique interior that still has a high degree of caring and recognition, which remains important for Cederlöf & Svenheimer and their customers”, Martin says.
“The next step is to roll out the concept in the other stores, something we are working on right now, Lars concludes.