Following the successful re-design of their Melbourne Airport store, eminent Australian menswear institution Henry Bucks re-engaged Red Design Group to refurbish their flagship store on Melbourne’s premium shopping precinct, Collins Street.

Trading in Melbourne since 1890, Henry Bucks embarked on a journey that has reinvented their brand through design led and generational change to make it more relevant to a broader younger demographic.

Set over 2 levels, the main challenge within the space was a 5m diameter void on the ground floor with a curving staircase to the basement level. The void cuts into the floor space significantly, restricting the opportunities for merchandising and the ability to sell a compelling story. The store also faces onto a pedestrian laneway with full height glazing running the length of the connection.

A series of cantilevered box forms that together make up a square, reduce the size of the void, freeing up additional floor space on the ground floor. This collection of forms is linked together by a white powder coated steel ‘ribbon’ that sets the new form firmly in the present and is in contrast to the heritage elements of the brand. This juxtaposition of modern and heritage is played up throughout the spaces. Victorian timber glass display cases have been maintained alongside the new more contemporary shelving units on the ground floor in a combination of polished steel and dark timber veneer.

The selection of blue metal framing for the Collins Street shopfront imparts a contemporary twist on a classic element of paneling. To contrast this, and screen the laneway shopfront, we developed a dynamic angled timber framework creating an element of intrigue beyond. Originally we had the framing as a 3-dimensional sculpture on the outside of the glazing, giving an edgier laneway contrast to the heritage of the Collins Street entry. After some debate with the landlord, it was agreed to move it behind the glazing and flatten the dimension.