Champagne maker Moët & Chandon opened its first permanent space in Europe within the Harrods beauty halls in London on 7th July 2022. The centre piece of the space facing out onto Basil Street in Knightsbridge is an organic, hand-sculpted chandelier, that spans a curving bar and visually connects the bar with its environs. Poser tables in each corner of the space complete the seating, while Moët & Chandon branding and bubble graphics in the window will define the exterior view. The execution of the dramatic bar is a major milestone for umdasch The Store Makers in the 10-year grand renovation process of the world-famous department store.
The design began with Sybarite Architects conceptualising and capturing the four heartbeats of Moët: Pleasure, Prestige, Place and Philosophy. These relate to the four colours: red for Pleasure, gold for Prestige, white representing Place and black as “inked” in their philosophy. The grand gesture is the chandelier, a 21×5 metre structure, that hangs from the ceiling, made of nearly 60,000 disks of degrade golden metal disks and 240,000 brass rings. This dramatic feature immediately begins the Moët & Chandon experience with a magnetic ‘wow’ moment, uniting the champagne bar and the beauty offerings in this Harrods space together – it stretches the whole way over the department. Not only this, but the elegance of the design ensures the seamless coexistence of the two brands of Moët & Chandon and Harrods in one location. The chandelier is reminiscent of the great futuristic designers of the past: Paco Rabanne and Pierre Cardin.
Homage to the Champagne region
Manufactured and installed by umdasch The Store Makers to a design by architectural studio Sybarite, the Moët & Chandon Champagne Bar at Harrods is a contemporary take on the heritage of the Maison. The 34-seat bar itself is the welcoming centrepiece, a curved shape echoing the contours of the land where the champagne emanates: Epernay; the terroir and the clay are embodied in the base and the bar top in different forms. It is manufactured in glass fibre with a textured application, a brushed brass bullnose curving around the whole bar completed by a chalk-like texture beneath the glass.
The bar offers a full selection Moët & Chandon wines, served by the glass, bottle or magnums, plus a range of savoury and sweet light eating options created by Harrods’ specialist team of in-house chefs, from fresh seafood to finger sandwiches, and pastries. The counter is studded with eight red “Moët Kisses” installed within the solid surface and house solid brushed brass ice buckets. The bar includes a fully fitted kitchen for the preparation of food and drink.
“It has been a super-challenging project because of the complexity of delivering the organic, sinuous shape of the chandelier and bar using the premium materials specified,” said umdasch Project Director Simon Wait. “The bar was manufactured in twelve sections and fitted together on site, the pieces were then jointed, filled and re finished in situ to give the appearance of the bar being made from one piece, “he added.
Surrounding the bar are five areas framed by library-esque bottle displays, gold-hued seating and bespoke tabletops designed to echo the effervescence of champagne. The tops of the four poser tables are made from resin, each designed with a 3-dimensional aesthetic which replicates the impression of looking down into a glass of Moët & Chandon, with the ‘bubbles’ rising towards the customer.
Tradition meets modern luxury
“The Moët & Chandon bar at Harrods is a dramatic and contemporary space, delivered through architectural form and materiality inspired by the heritage brand,” said Simon Mitchell, co-founder of Sybarite. “The sculpted central chandelier, composed of degradé metallic discs, sweeps, undulates and dips overhead, drawing one in with an anticipation of celebration and effervescence. Working with heritage brands LVMH, Moët & Chandon and Harrods was an opportunity to design a show-stopping backdrop injected with all the drama and theatre one anticipates with the pleasure of drinking champagne. Contemporary design references create an immersive environment which conveys the story of the terroir, the sense of place and brings the philosophy of the Grand Maison to life at Harrods.”
umdasch at Harrods: A long-term partnership
The long-standing relationship between umdasch and Harrods is emblematic of the deep heritage that the two businesses have within retailing. From luxury merchandise to gifts, Harrods and umdasch have collaborated in a long-term, phased project to rejuvenate key elements of the store, starting with the successful renovation of Harrods Roastery & Bakehall in 2017 and Harrods Wine & Spirits in 2018.
Subsequently, umdasch was commissioned for many projects as part of a ten-year grand renovation, including the Dining Hall, Men’s International Designer Room 1, Beds and Signature Harrods World as well as the Gift Wrap area, Men’s Shoes or Seasonal & Books.
“Harrods Moët & Chandon Bar is our flagship project this year, given the uniqueness of the design and various high-profile stakeholders being involved in this project. The team is immensely proud to have been entrusted with this prestigious space.” notes Roman Fussthaler, Managing Director Premium Retail at umdasch The Store Makers.