komplementair boutique by Aekae

Photographs by nico schaerer www.nicoschaerer.com
“Respect for the past but passion for the future”
This is the swiss born, london-based design studio Aekae’s motto – and no where is it more evident than in their interior project for luxury swiss accessories brand komplementair.

The boutique is located in a vault beneath Zurich’s historical and still operational IM Viadukt. Due to building regulations nothing could be fixed to the stone walls so Aekae devised an internal steel-beam system to support the two-level interior independently.

Reuse formed a large part of the project from the beginning as the owner wanted Aekae to incorporate a cherished Steinway piano of hers into the design. She also didn’t want the merchandise to be grouped into categories; instead wanting to show outfits and different pieces that matched well together. Aekae responded with an interior featuring assemblages of second-hand furniture: stacked, customised and fitted together to form display units. They gave each piece a unifying custom cut black surface that also linked back to the piano.


Adjustable brass rods where also used overhead to support a constel­lation of conical black lamp shades and clothes hangers. The infrastructural elements, counter and bathroom, where designed to be simple black blocks standing on the white floor in contrast to the stone walls of the viaduct as was the industrial steel staircase to the second floor

Overall it’s a stunning and beautiful example of how old or secondhand furniture can be used within a commercial environment. We love it – bravo komplementair and Aekae! 🙂

Here’s more information about the project from the designers:

Aekae has just finished the interior design for komplementair, a boutique devoted to the world of accessories. The location – im viadukt – an old railway viaduct, required a very unique approach, as nothing was allowed to be fixed to the original stone walls which are part of the interior.

To accommodate the wide range of objects, from small jewellery pieces to weekend bags, various pieces of secondhand wooden furniture, were compiled to bigger structures to achieve platforms of different sizes. All surfaces where covered with custom fitted panels to create a neutral backdrop for the products on display. Like accessories complementing an outfit, the furniture compliments the space.

The lighting system was specifically developed, and combines brass rods for hanging items with adjustability for the lampshades. The infrastructural elements, counter and bathroom, are simple black blocks, standing on the white floor in contrast to the stone walls of the viaduct.

For further information please visit:

Aekae – www.aekae.com

komplementair Accessories – www.komplementair.ch

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