Cheshire Architects
New Zealand/Aotearoa

Faradays is an experiment in making a lot from a little. The original building was stripped bare to capture all its latent character, whilst new additions reimagine what an elegant retail experience might feel like; a collision of tradition and invention.

The store was intended to be a platform for showcasing the collections from some of the world’s best fashion houses, many of which are not yet available within the southern hemisphere. The store is located within the historic Textile Centre – originally a textile warehouse in Auckland, New Zealand. The store needed to remain approachable while being an appropriate canvas to showcase the brands in stock.

When visiting Faradays you are first greeted by a botanical wonder, the florist is positioned at the entry, the wonderful fragrances permeate the room and offer a calm tempo. At the store’s perimeter the canvas edge bends inwards offering ‘pockets’ of space for specific brands to find their own place within the broader store. These ‘pockets’ create moments of stillness, a place for the customer to stand out of the general flow, to peruse in peace. The dressing rooms are a continuation of that canvas surface, where the canvas folds back on itself. The rooms are acoustically soft with fabric on all surfaces. At the end of the retail journey a small champagne bar can be found, providing a place to sit and enjoy the wonder of the afternoon’s delights.

The idea of tension was central to the project’s success. Raw in its material but refined in its geometry, the canvas is inherently soft but here it is held taut and then slashed like a Lucio Fontana work. The opening in the canvas is then peeled apart to reveal the carefully curated displays buried within that sinuous edge. The displays are individually lit, gently accentuating the product within.


Furniture: concept and design by Cheshire, fabrication by Cutting Innovations, PLN Group. Lighting: Lumenworks. Curtain Fabricators: Leigh Jackson, Stone: Italian Stone and Island Stone. Metalwork: Metal Fold Industry.


Photography: Sam Hartnett.