For its debut outpost in the United Kingdom, On aimed to showcase the science and technology behind its running shoes and clothing.
“Our concept was a shoppable science museum in the sense that one of the main things we want to share is that what we do is science-based,” said On’s head of brand environments Nicholas Martin.
It is performance-run culture that is infused into everything we do.”
The store’s ground floor is defined by three circular steel tables, used to display the brand’s latest products.
Each of the tables, which can be raised and lowered, is surrounded by a curved steel wall that can be rotated to create a variety of layouts within the store.
The table at the store’s entrance also holds a robotic arm that mimics the action of running to showcase On’s running shoes.
“The first thing you actually see is our robotic arm,” Martin told Dezeen. “We want people to touch and explore. So you kind of get to see the movement.”
“And then we also try to add different layers of storytelling,” he continued. “So you can compare the different shoes.”
The first floor is defined by a pair of steel cabinets, described by On as a “magic wall” that runs the length of the store.
It contains all of On’s products in all available sizes so that customers can instantly try on trainers.
“Our goal was to revolutionise the way shoe try-ons happen,” said Martin. “At our stores, we let the product speak for itself. Our technology is something you feel once you put a product on.”
Contrasting the steel fixtures, the store’s walls were finished in natural clay sourced from Cornwall, which was applied by hand.
On the ground floor and in the basement-level event space, the walls are painted in a muted shade of grey while on the upper floors, they are finished in green.
“Swiss engineering means for us loving technology and the natural world,” said Martin. “Technology makes the store look sleek, nature helps us to give the store a more imperfect and warmer look.”
“The store green is a nod to the legendary British racing green – a colour culturally saturated in movement, speed and engineering,” he continued.
Founded in 2010, On is known for its lightweight running shoes and is reportedly the fastest-growing running brand worldwide. Its stores form part of On’s wider efforts to build its brand internationally.
“They offer a space for our fans, community and new customers to explore and get to know the brand,” said Martin. “We see the store as a media channel that connects our fans with the brand.”
All photography courtesy of On.
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