Location: Russia, Ekaterinburg
Area: 55 sq. m
Project Status: implemented
Year: 2021
Photo : Evgeni Sverdlov

Omérta is a unisex clothing store with a focus on detail. We were asked to develop a space based on three words: sexuality, virgin, freedom.

We focused on the combination of brutal concrete forms and soft fabrics.
The entire structure of the building was exposed: monolithic ceilings, concrete columns, and overhanging slabs. We supplemented the existing geometry with another concrete volume, turning it into a sofa-showcase.
All engineering communications were hidden behind five-meter fabric canvases falling to the floor. And against the background of enveloping textiles, a concrete block was placed—the checkout area. All the concrete products were cast and molded together with the workers on site.
In contrast with the large shapes, there are many details in this project. Serifs on the rails that secure clothes hangers. Minimalist fabric headwear mannequins on a column fixed with magnets. Embroidery on fabrics with text messages that convey brand values.
A checkout counter is a concrete block on the outside and a functional cabinet on the inside.
During the concept phase, we reviewed several different designs for this area. Natural stone is very heavy (about 4 tonnes); assembling from blocks of different shapes is rather small scale against textile; casting such mould at production site is expensive.

Therefore we decided to make the stone ourselves, and set about designing it:
1. At first, we made 4 specimens with different composition and pigment (the block had to be darker than the basic concrete in the area).
2. Then we assembled a framework made of plywood and made a niche inside the mould for the future cabinet.
3. We poured the concrete mixture and waited until the concrete had begun to set, but had not hardened yet
4. We marked an outline of the future block and proceeded with shaping the block with a perforator.
5. We coated it with a mat varnish before opening.
In addition to clothes, the shop sells hats and balaclavas.
Textile dummies made of soft fabric in the shape of a head were designed to exhibit them. It was decided to place them on a column near the checkout area. In order not to disturb the load-bearing structure, we used magnets. 5 magnets were glued to the column and 5 magnets were sewn into the textile dummies. Thus, it is possible to vary the exhibit of headwear: to leave 3 dummy heads or all 5, depending on the availability of models.
A showcase sofa made of concrete serves two functions: it is a waiting area in front of the try-on room and a showcase for decorative items.
We projected and duplicated the concrete slab from the ceiling to the floor exhibiting the design features of the space. By creating a contrast of materials and forms—a simple concrete slab and a bionic fabric sofa—we accentuated the brand particularity.
The concrete slab was poured on site. The framework was made of plywood, and expanded polystyrene was used inside to soften the shape.
The sofa was stitched by hand. First of all, we made a few mockups to understand how to achieve such shape and what fabric was required. Having approved the patterns, we proceeded with cutting. There are two cushions on each side of the sofa. The lower one is for softness, and is made from several layers of sheathed foam. The top one is finishing, which has a bionic shape.
The clothes rails were also customized, as we needed concealed fixtures and notches for hangers in every 10 cm to evenly hang the clothes.
We made the rail structure in two parts: the base was a metal plate with a protruding element, and a metal guide with notches, on which the clothes would hang.
In order to make the fixtures concealed, we made a groove in the wall for metal plates, fastened them and plastered the wall over them. After finishing the wall, we connected the element protruding from the wall with the rail.
That's how we achieved an effect of rails built into the wall without additional supports and angle brackets.
There was a limited implementation period, therefore we had to prepare the planning solution with minimum changes. The general arrangement of areas remained the same. We only optimized the size of the utility/storage room and allotted a try-on room area. To do this, we demolished a wall that separated the utility room and the main hall. We erected a new lavatory made of foam concrete blocks with a walkable roof.
The main zoning element in the common room was textiles. This, on the one hand, perfectly fitted into the concept and, on the other hand, helped save time and budget during the implementation.
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