NK SPORT LAUNCHES – A SPORTS RETAILER OF THE FUTURE. Iconic Swedish department store Nordiska Kompaniet presents NK Sport; the sports retailer of the future. A progressive multi-purpose venue developed by founder Marc Nylander, together with architect Jani Kristoffersen and creative director Anton Wikner. The aim has been to give innovative, pioneering sporting brands an inspiring, experiential framework – as close to nature as to urbanity.
The retail apocalypse opens up for new visionary solutions, and Sweden’s Nordiska Kompaniet has prided itself with a sense of what’s ahead, since its inception in 1902. Stockholm’s equivalent to Barney’s conti- nuously embraces innovation, always rooted in its history as an institution for the fashion conscious. NK Sport falls in to this tradition, while breaking new ground. Founder Marc Nylander elaborates:
“WE HAVE COMBINED AESTHETICS AND FUNCTIONALITY IN A WAY PREVIOUSLY UNSEEN.
IT IS ALL ABOUT PRODUCTS WITH A PURPOSE, A TEAM ON THE FLOOR WITH PERSONAL ATHLETIC INVESTMENT, AND A SPACE CONTEXTUALIZING SPORTS AS A CULTURAL EXPERIENCE.”
To achieve this, the interiors of NK Sport’s physical scope of 1 600 square meters, have been shaped by architect Jani Kristoffersen from award-winning firm Guise, in collaboration with Unestablished’s creative director Anton Wikner, resulting in a setting echoing of a contemporary art museum. Lead architect Jani Kristoffersen believes NK Sport delivers new energy to the changing reality of retail:
“PEOPLE WHO WANT TO BE INTELLECTUALLY AND VISUALLY AMAZED VISITS A PHYSICAL SPACE. BORING RETAIL IS DEAD, INSPIRING RETAIL IS NOT.”
It’s a stage fitting for brands from the entire spectrum of high-end athletic apparel. From industry leaders like Nike and Arc’teryx, to universally lauded Swedish brands Fjällräven and Klättermusen, as well as cutting-edge imprints such as Snow Peak from Japan and Black Yak from South Korea. “Everything has been meticulously selected to increase your performance, and with a clear eye for what’s sustainable”, says Marc Nylander.
In addition, NK Sport is furnished with sharp aluminum tables, glossy hammer painted steel pipes, black pigmented glass, and accents of soft colored translucent silicone objects. A mélange creating a feeling of having stepped into a spatial collage of modernist utopias, and bare mountain landscapes. Creative director Anton Wikner has wanted to fuse “the raw essence of nature with high-tech”:
“WHEN YOU CREATE A RETAIL SPACE FOR THE FUTURE, YOU NEED TO QUESTION ITS EXISTENCE IN THE FIRST PLACE. FOR US, THAT REASON IS TO GIVE AN EXPERIENCE THAT GOES BEYOND THE PRODUCTS. YOU SHOULD FEEL LIKE AN ASTRONAUT IN THE EQUIPMENT DEPARTMENT BEFORE A MARS MISSION.”
NK Sport’s locale design is site specific both regarding historic narrative and physical properties, the building being situated between the original jugend structure, and Swedish architect Hans Asplund’s brutalist addition from the 50’s. The latter now publicly revealed for the first time through Guise’s renaturation strategy, complete with fixtures referencing its past – while boldly leaning forward. “The main feature of NK Sport’s fit out is the bush hammered gypsum furniture, an intentional wink to Hans Asplund, who coined the international architectural term brutalism”, says Jani Kristoffersen.