Luxury department store Harrods’ infamous Toy Kingdom has undergone a major re-design with the help of London and Singapore based interior architects, Shed. The collaboration sees the second time both companies have worked together after the successful completion of the Shoe Salon in 2011.
The opportunity saw Shed re-designing the existing 15 year-old toy department, creating a retail attraction and destination for toys appealing to young and old visitors alike. The concept of the department is a hypothetical series of ‘lost rooms’ which uses the backdrop of the classical Toy Kingdom interlaced with imaginary worlds to create ‘dreamscapes’.
The floors and ceilings have been made into design features in their own right with illustrated panels of fantasy skylines, clouds and planets. The main entrance to the Toy Kingdom is via a pair of gates which open up into the first dreamscape – The Big Top.
To the left of The Big Top is a candy store where various types of sweets sit in large copper vats and presentations show how the sweets are made. Following on from this is the Enchanted Forest and Wonderland, which uses a series of real tress and yurts to create the backdrop, leading on from this is the space inspired The Odyssey which makes use of lights and sound to create its atmosphere, the more sedate Reading Room flows off this, using magical twists on traditional themes. A central, circular library dominates the space with illustrated curved walls depicting the fun and adventure within the books.
Commenting on the project Shed said: “This was a designers dream. Not only did the project allow us to use details and materials of a bygone era, we were also given total, creative freedom with the creation of the dreamscapes. The result was an amazing combination of traditional retail and surreal experiences that together form an amazing space. Simply put, the Toy Kingdom was just great fun to work on.”