Connections (Travel Store) by Ruud Belmans
2012 - 2013, Bronze A' Interior Space and Exhibition Design Award Winner
We got our inspiration out of the different market places and 'boquerias' you find around the world. The display and shop furniture are based on simple tables and crates in plain wood.
When leading Belgian travel agency Connections decided to explore new horizons and start selling travel paraphernalia as well as the travel arrangements in se they created quite a splash in the travel sector, and needed a suitable flagship store to help underpin their message. Central in the space and eye catcher of the design is a huge screen wall depicting a map of the earth. The map is highly animated with local info on desitinations, movies and pictures of travelers. It's basically the portal between the store and its clients traveling around the globe. The main idea was to bring the online advantages of travel booking into the real life store.
Design Challenges
The challenge was to integrate the advantages of an online travel booking experience into the real store. The custom made shop furniture had to be able to hold a broad range of products.
Production Technology
We strongly felt that just adding travel related merchandise to the travel booking part would not be sufficient. The flow and organization of the space should evoke interaction between the 2 services as well as cross-merchandising. When booking a trip, positive emotions create buying impulses, so the merchandise should be presented in unforced manner to this happy customer and in a way that reminds him to a feeling abroad. That's the reason we looked at the shopping area as a market place or 'boqueria' where products are merchandised in an inviting, nonchalant way. Another important part of the space is the interactive world map screen wall which serves as a portal between the traveling customers and the people in the store. Customers abroad are able to send pictures of their holiday and they appear on the right place on the world map, so offering shoppers a 'live' experience. Besides customer photos, movies and announcements can be displayed on the wall as well.
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