oslo: paleet mall renewal

© paleet / photography: einar aslaksen

an unprecedented buzz has shaken up sleepy oslo, putting the city's retail landscape on a fast-track to modern lifestyle relevance and bring it a little more in line with the spending power of its inhabitants. mind you, this is the capital city of one of the planet's most affluent nations, but when walking the streets there's little retail evidence that bears witness to it. but that's now going to change. a handful of foreign luxury brands have already set up shop downtown, but the recent reopening of paleet mall can be seen as the official kick-off of a new era of upscale shopping in the city. originally opened in 1990, the mall has been given a thorough make-over by architecture practice jarmund/vigsnæs and a small group of local design experts. the aim was to retain the mall's existing atmosphere, but add a contemporary yet upscale layer, one that would be inviting, fun, and last but not least, reflect its new status as a sophisticated urban lifestyle hub.

architects håkon vigsnæs and einar jarmund have come up with an audacious palette in which copper plays a dominant role. the shiny metal has been applied throughout the premises, adding a warm glow to walls, columns and shop façades, and it even appears in undulating ceiling grids. the shiny splendour is balanced by marble flooring and segments covered in wood. the richness in texture is balanced by demure marble and terrazzo flooring, segments in cedar wood and alternating columns covered in brown leather. a true eye-catcher is a chandelier construction, placed inside the mall's central atrium, and which creates various light scenarios during the day. with its aim to offer the norwegian capital a whole new lifestyle experience, paleet's directory is obviously one of curated shops and hospitality establishments.

the design makes a clear distinction between public areas and stores, emphasizing the latter through architectural markings. so, what can be found here? it's home to almost 30 high-end boutiques, offering men's + women's fashion, shoes and accessories. but stealing the show here at paleet - especially from an international perspective - is newly established concept store yme. a striking retail project with pan-scandinavian ambitions, it offers oslo's demographic of discerning shoppers an entirely new range of options with a tightly edited range of edgy apparel and accessories collections for men, design objects and art, all amidst a setting designed by directional architecture firm snøhetta. adding up to the lifestyle equation are a handful of restaurant concepts, each with a flavour and vibe of their own. location: karl johans gate 37-43 [sentrum].

© paleet / photography: einar aslaksen