For Australasia’s first Gaggenau showroom, Carr was tasked to bring to life everything the brand’s iconic EB 333 oven stood for – 333 years of brand history and design integrity – through a highly sensory journey. Deploying an artfully slow reveal centred around its most significant product, Gaggenau Melbourne could be classed as anti-showroom. Rejecting the standard assault on the senses – where everything is brightly lit and on show – Gaggenau creates an unassailably original and intimately realised retail experience.
On arrival, darkness makes the eyes adjust. There appears to be nothing to see here. Instead of the EB 333 hero on arrival, it is to the left, revealed in good time. Trademark Gaggenau scent in this plush arrival lounge draped in Australian sheepskins alerts the senses. There is no rush here; life’s pleasures should be savoured.
As visitors move next into the product gallery, the monolithic, black-mirrored towers and constricted floor plan allude to the trunks of the dense Black Forest (home of the Gaggenau brand). Singular products are at first hidden from view within each tower and cinematically lit from above; each appliance is a design iteration to be experienced as an intentional moment.
An enlarged next volume allows spatial arrangements to be experienced first-hand: what should go where in a kitchen, and why? Cooking demonstration is at first concealed at the rear where a generous dining table and wide-span doors to the kitchen garden speak of the familiar. It’s a space where customers feel most comfortable to explore conversations around their purchase needs.
While other brands bring in automation for their products, Gaggenau relies on intuition – through touch, scent, sound and sight – empowering customers to forge their own culinary experience. Epitomising the brand’s vision of traditional avant-garde, the Gaggenau showroom – like the brand itself – critiques the very relationship between producer and consumer.
Photography: Earl Carter and Samara Clifford Photography.