© WOW

Although not particularly known as a shopping destination, Madrid has its fair share of branded flagship stores, independent boutiques and department stores that enable city dwellers and visitors to splurge every day of the week. But the given its stature as a major European capital, the city lacked a shopping destination for a young and forward demographic. Well, that was yesterday. Occupying a whopping 5,500 sqm. (59,202 sq.ft.) set across eight floors of an ornate landmark building – mind you, it was erected in the 1880s by Spanish architect Eduardo Reynals Toledo and originally housed the legendary Hotel de Roma – alongside bustling Calle Gran Vía, WOW is a retail concept of Dimas Gimeno Álvarez. The former honcho of El Corte Inglés, Spain‘s leading department store chain, has created a shopping destination that’s specifically geared towards savvy Millennials and Generation Z shoppers and effortlessly blends brick-and-mortar retail with digital shopping. The interior design, created by Barcelona-based multi-disciplinary studio External Reference, sees an abundance of striking photogenic settings that resonate well with the target demographics.

The forward design theme, which actually sounds like a scientific experiment, is based on ‘nature-related technology that evolves with the capabilities of humankind, aiming for a ecological balance’. In order to fully capture the theme, the design practice built a 3D printer which recreated the ground floor, dedicated entirely to cosmetics and fragrances, from all the luxury houses to niche brands, into an intriguing marine coral landscape using PURE.TECH material which is known for neutralising greenhouse gasses. The settings feature programmable lights which allows to continuously change the atmosphere and effortlessly integrates with displays and installations, while nifty JogoTech displays bridge the aforementioned brick-and-mortar and digital divide. Additionally, large-sized Italianate sculptures, dipped in an electric pink hue and partially pixellated, dot the floor and serve as additional product displays. One floor up, WOW‘s on-point fashion sensibilities are displayed by way of equally alluring digital-infused settings with entire backdrops continuously changing for stands which integrate a display system of both clothing and accessories.

This floor includes no less than twelve branded shop-in-shops and there’s also features a so-called archive space. The third floor is home to streetwear, and accordingly, the décor adapts, featuring three bays, one for circulation and two for display, crafted from shiny metal elements which integrate programmable lighting. It’s constructed as such that constantly changing configurations, aligned with trends and novelties, are a breeze. On the fourth floor, the elaborate homeware collections are presented, and once again, in a series of settings that blend in hi-tech. Recreating bustling city streets with a similar dose of hi-tech, the aesthetic here seems more distinctly transitional, signalling WOW‘s intentional and continuous transformation. Next to homewares, technology equipment, gaming devices and books can be found here. And as this is capital of a nation infatuated with food, the remaining top floors accommodate two restaurants.

WOW
Calle Gran Vía 18 (Centro)
28013 Madrid

© WOW