‘Selfie rooms’ are now a thing… in Russia at least. Hong Kong architecture firm Cheungvogl has just installed one in an old department store in St Petersburg, allowing visitors’ narcissism to reign free.
The curved space – featuring a metal meshed ceiling, glass and white resin – sits within the spa of the 1907 Au Pont Rouge building, which Cheungvogl has renovated and turned into a modern day retail temple.
Visitors can emerge from the treatment rooms, then Instagram their freshly preened faces to infinity.
‘The “Selfie Room”, a testing and sample room, creates a stage for visitors to feel like performers, models and directors of the self-image at the same time,’ says Cheungvogl. ‘By sharing the self-image through social media, visitors create 15-minute fame for themselves and advertisement space for the brand within their social networks.’
Its white and translucent material palette echoes Cheungvogl’s interventions throughout the old department store, which it has transformed into an ‘open exhibition retail space’. Another 21st century upgrade is the robotic shopping system, which allows customers to use a mobile app to scan items and add them to a virtual basket.
‘The global shift towards online shopping and the reshape of consumerism has rendered many classical department stores and the retail model obsolete,’ adds the practice. ‘There is an immediate need to rethink the core values of the future retail model.’