Welcome to the Atelier100 shop, where every product is designed and created within a 100km radius of London.
MADE IN LONDON
In a time of globalisation, it's hard to know where your products come from, how they were made or who made them. Yet, in recent years, especially during the pandemic, local making and shopping has taken on a renewed importance. People are on the hunt for locally produced items, from homeware to fashion. They want to connect to those products on a deeper level – and they want to better understand the real human stories behind them.
Enter Atelier100, a new project backed by IKEA and H&M that's bringing together local creatives, makers and manufacturers located within a 100km radius of London. Core to the project is a bustling new shop in the heart of Hammersmith, where makers can connect, learn and create. And, luckily for you, it's where you can also buy what they're selling…
The space was designed with London-based studios Plaid and Bibliothèque. We caught up with Plaid's co-founder, Brian Studak, and one of Bibliothèque's founding partners, Tim Beard, to find out more.
Q. How did you create a fresh brand with such a distinct identity?
‘An early question was: how much do we need to resonate H&M and IKEA through this identity? And very quickly they said we didn't – it needed to feel entirely independent. That was quite nice, as it meant we could bring something completely fresh to the table. It wiped the slate clean for what it needed to be visually.’ TB
‘It's always a challenge in commercial spaces to create something new. The idea was the shop had to be more than just a place to buy things. It had to be a place for people to meet: creatives, manufacturers and customers. The space needed to perform multiple functions, and that manifested in the design, from the shopfront to the central table.’ BS
Q. Why is providing an experience so important?
‘The retail experiences that I remember are always those places that you walk into and go: “Wow! What's going on here?” They raise questions and provoke responses in customers. We also wanted to frame and support the creatives and their work. That's central to what the shop is doing – creating a platform.’ BS
‘You have to give people an experience that they weren't expecting. It's like that quote, “Don't give people what they want, give them something they won't forget.” That's really important and that spirit was threaded all the way through this space.’ TB
Q. And how was sustainability incorporated into the design?
‘Reusability was important and we embraced it. There was an idea to reuse items from [the now closed] Topshop on Oxford Street, which was brilliant. That's where a lot of the fittings were sourced. It was about making something useful from them rather than watching them get chucked into landfill.’ TB
‘There were a lot of really interesting fixtures: industrial clothing rails that we've powder coated, mirrors and large light boxes – they're now a “wow” moment when you walk in.’ BS
WHAT TO BUY
Every product on offer in the store was designed, manufactured and brought to life by makers in and around London. The ready-made products available to purchase in the store, from homeware and accessories to jewellery and fashion, were carefully curated by Courier's editors. When Atelier100's community of makers create original products during the program, these will also be on sale.
Beautiful products for daily life
From coffee-table coasters and handy coin purses to gorgeous notebooks, like these hardback journals featuring marbled paper, made with love in a south-London studio.
Fashion and accessories
A curated selection of things to wear, whether that's kitchen aprons and plush hoodies or jewellery and bags, like this bucket tote made of leather recycled from luxury offcuts.
Homeware, kitchenware and more…
Quality bowls and trays, coffee-makers that stand out, sustainable skincare and accessories to dress up your living quarters, like this range of candles inspired by Chinese medicine.
MEET OUR NEIGHBOURS
The River Cafe. The Thames-side hotspot is still one of London's best.
Truth. An independent cafe near Hammersmith Tube station.
The Crabtree. A classic riverside pub with great views.