Sarah & Sebastian

George Livissianis

Sarah and Sebastian ‘create unexpected spaces from unique perspectives’ and their new store in Melbourne City is no different. Set in an iconic street with a heritage shopfront, the store is a compact 27sq.m footprint that also incorporates a piercing studio behind the retail space.

Ultimately, the breif and the scale of the space led George Livissianis towards two design ideas: movable storage & bank vaults; one for the mobility, space efficiency and mechanics, the other for the feeling of preciousness that’s resonates with a vault and the materiality of stainless steel lock boxes within them.

From there, the team explored the idea of a mobile compactus pod. They are precise, highly engineered and meticulously fabricated units: the mechanics of the compactus and the precision of the vault lockboxes. They chose mirror polished stainless steel for its reflectivity, sharpness and sense of luxe. This was elevated by the removal of any part of the existing building lining that wasn’t original (all ceilings, all renders, paints, floor coverings), leaving a bare carcass that was the antithesis of the highly polished, precise technical display cases.

The space itself is also designed to be highly flexible, with the pods all being able to be moved, allowing the store to adapt and change as different products are displayed and highlighted.

Overall, the project explores the limits of how raw a space can be, and by contrast how precise and minimal the new interior needs to be for it to co-exist. One raw and textural, the other mechanical, precise, machined and polished.


Lighting: Emac & Lawton. Finishes: Mirror Polished Stainless Steel.


Photography: Tom Ferguson.