The latest concept store to hit London is a one-stop shop selling not one but two distinct lifestyles. Joining retail stalwarts such as Dover Street Market and the Shop at Bluebird, Pantechnicon is where North meets East. Olivia Palamountain reports
Concept store Pantechnicon is a hymn to all things Japanese and Nordic, a celebration of contemporary creativity and craftsmanship showcased across a spectrum of fashion and beauty, homeware, and food and drink.
Launched at the end of September, this new lifestyle hub is located on Motcomb Street in Belgravia (now pedestrianised) and housed in a building dating from 1830.
Pantechnicon was originally built as an art and crafts centre, (the name derives from the Greek words Pan “all” and Techne “craft and art”) before being turned into an upmarket warehouse for local residents to store finds from their travels around the world.Now repurposed for the 21st century, it’s fitting that this impressive slice of London history is once again dedicated to the creative arts.
Behind the original façade lies a warehouse-style interior home to stores, restaurants and bars spread across five floors.
Barry Hirst, co-founder of Pantechnicon and Open House says: “Everyone has an appetite for exploration, adventure and new experiences. We are a group of people who share a passion for travel, culture and hospitality.
“Together our mission is to have fun creating a platform for new creative talent from Japan and the Nordics and to share our discoveries with everyone, all in one place. Both cultures have a lot in common including their geographies, their relationship with nature and their passion for simplicity and functionality in design.”
The Edit on the ground floor showcases a curation of 150 Japanese and Nordic brands including handcrafted gifts and products, from designer tech and ceramics to outdoor equipment, footwear and fashion accessories.
The Studio on the first floor brings together a wider range, including a selection of beauty products from Bijo.
The first brands announced for The Edit and The Studio include Tokyobikes in collaboration with Pantechnicon; accessories from cult Danish label Aesther Ekme; fragrances from Swedish perfumer 19-69; Japanese homewares from Kaikado; bags from Porter Yoshida and jewellery from Shihara.
The first floor also houses a large experiential space where guests will be introduced to emerging brands, artists, creators and makers through workshops as well as retail and dining pop-ups.
Sakaya is an immersive bar and boutique bottle shop tucked away on the east side of Halkin Arcade offering a selection of hand-crafted Japanese barware, spirits and wines featuring whisky umeshu and sake selected by Sake Samurai, Natsuki Kikuya.
On entering the building, guests are welcomed into Café Kitsuné, the first permanent outlet to open in the UK from creative duo, Masaya Kuroki and Gildas Loaëc.
Overlooking Café Kitsuné and The Edit is an intimate but open gallery space hosting Little Sachi (meaning “happiness” and “fortune” in Japanese), a 30 seat pop-up for lunch and dinner with a menu co-curated by Nancy Singleton, author of Phaidon’s Japan.
The gallery pop-up is a preview of the mainstay 100-seat Sachi restaurant, bar, cocktail lounge and street terrace on the lower ground floor restaurant (opening Spring 2021). A takeaway kiosk will open serving seasonal specialities typically enjoyed in the likes of Tokyo and Helsinki.
On the second floor, Eldr (“fire” in Old Norse) is inspired by the dining scene across the Nordic regions, with a seasonal menu inspired by traditional cooking methods; pickling, foraging and cooking with fire.
Led by Finnish Head Chef Joni Ketonen, the Nordic cocktail menu will change seasonally, curated by bartenders-in-residence from award-winning bars and restaurants from Iceland to the Faroe Islands.On the top floor is a 130 seat bar and dining roof garden designed by Finnish horticulturalist and garden designer, Taina Suonio. It’s open year round and designed for all seasons with a fully retractable electric glass roof. Comparisons between the lifestyles and aesthetic sensibilities of the Nordics and Japan are often drawn, with both ever in vogue. Globetrender reported on Hygge Circles Ugakei this summer, a next-gen, sustainable glamping experience in the forests of Japan made with the best of both Danish and Japanese design.
What’s coming next? Trend reports available to download HERE