Blue Beauty Lab, Oceanographic Institute, Monaco Commercial Real Estate, Interior Architecture Photos
Blue Beauty Lab in Monaco
8 Aug 2022
Architecture: Universal Design Studio
Location: Oceanographic Institute, Monaco
Photos © Loïc Thebaud
Blue Beauty Lab at Oceanographic Institute
The digital x physical micro-format concept store reveals the complex biotechnology and marine conservation at the heart of the L’Oréal owned skincare brand
Universal Design Studio has unveiled its latest retail concept: Biotherm’s innovative Blue Beauty Lab in Monaco. Located in the historic Oceanographic Institute, the by appointment only, micro-format, 30 sqm concept space serves as a destination for buyers and brand ambassadors to learn about the complex marine research and activism at the heart of the L’Oréal owned premium skincare brand. The non-transactional space reflects the mood of brands increasingly looking to physical presence to demonstrate their core values and manifest their brand anchor points through experiential moments.
Universal was briefed to harness spatial design to tell the narrative of Biotherm’s holistic ‘Blue Beauty’ ethos – a belief in beauty that comes from water and gives back to it, resulting in products that take care of the skin whilst being more respectful of the ocean. Intrinsic to every Biotherm product is Life Plankton: a micro-organism with regenerating properties is sustainably produced by Biotherm using a complex biotechnology process that allows it to be endlessly reproduced with no harm to nature. Translating this unique methodology into the spatial design required an innately collaborative process, with Universal working closely with Biotherm’s design team and its expert scientists to distill the brand’s laboratory processes into a physical space.
Integral to the brief was creating an immersive space that made tangible to visitors the pioneering research within this field: on entering through a circular door and mirrored tunnel, visitors are immersed in a space of scientific learning and discovery. Two key areas define the compact floor plan: a demonstrative research lab and a workshop area. The research lab reveals the complex Life Plankton methodology, visualising in microscopic detail how it is produced, and showcases the restorative properties and regenerative compounds in its resulting product range.
Taking centre stage in an alcove overlooking the sea is the workshop area, a space for both hands-on and digitally immersive experiences. A central circular table is surrounded by captivating floor to ceiling projections displaying live generative visuals by Superbien and AC3 Studio; through movement, visitors can interact with the visuals in real time, layering abstract representations of the ingredients and Life Plankton to create bespoke pieces of digital artwork and understand the complex science at the heart of the brand.
“Brands are increasingly looking to physical presence for means above and beyond selling products. They’re harnessing spaces to storytell their core brand messaging in unique ways and ultimately connect with customers in a more impactful way. At just 30 sqm, Biotherm’s Blue Beauty Lab demonstrates how even the smallest of footprints can have a big impact through a considered combination of physical and digital design.”
Satoshi Isono, Creative Director, Universal Design Studio
To help communicate Biotherm’s scientific expertise, Universal leaned heavily on laboratory design cues, from stainless steel worktops and reflective surfaces to safety glass shelving and crisp bright lighting. The rooms’ sandstone walls and refurbished terrazzo floor are a welcome juxtaposition from the main laboratory-like features, reflecting the rich historic location and the natural properties within the products.
A key challenge the Universal and Biotherm design teams faced was ensuring the conservation of the monumental setting throughout the renovation. Adjacent walls back onto aquatic water tanks housing marine life, so carefully considered building work was of the utmost priority.
The historic site was a natural progression for the Monaco born brand that has been a supporter of the Oceanographic Institute since 2019. In 2021, Biotherm became the museum’s Executive Partner sharing a common mission to inspire love for and protection of the oceans. The brand’s financial support through the partnership supports the museum’s actions for the oceans, mobilising its global network of experts and decision-makers and raising public awareness on the fragile situation.
The Biotherm Blue Beauty Lab is the latest addition to Universal’s extensive retail portfolio which includes spaces for Stella McCartney, H&M, Mulberry, and Georg Jensen.
About Universal Design Studio
Universal Design Studio – https://universaldesignstudio.com/ is driven by a deeply held belief in the transformative power of well designed, finely crafted spaces with a process rooted in design-led strategy and research. The studio’s work foregrounds the experience of the people that inhabit our spaces, with an emphasis on adaptability and rigour.
Over the past two decades, Universal’s portfolio has grown to encompass hotels and restaurants, retail environments, workspaces, residential, master planning and public realm design. Alongside this, the studio has executed culturally significant projects for galleries and cultural institutions across the globe. Clients include Ace Hotel, Fortnum & Mason, At Six Stockholm, The Office Group, Rimowa, the Victoria & Albert Museum, IBM, Google and Frieze Art Fair amongst others.
The studio was founded in 2001 by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby in Shoreditch, London.
Biotherm – https://www.biotherm.com/ stands for Blue Beauty – beauty at the intersection of Bioscience and Blue Commitments. Beauty that gives back to aquatic and marine life. Powered by bioscience, Biotherm leverages biotechnology to amplify the power of nature and relies on key actives that are more potent, more natural, and more sustainable.
Discovered in the thermal springs of the French Pyrenees and infused in its products since the brand’s creation in 1952, Biotherm’s iconic ingredient Life Plankton is 100% natural and reproduced endlessly through an exclusive biofermentation process.Through its sustainability program Water Lovers, Biotherm is committed to creating a better future for our oceans across its entire value chain.
Biotherm offers a complete range of premium products for women and men. Iconic products include Life Plankton Elixir, Aquasource Gel, Lait Corporel, Waterlover Sun Milk, Aquapower Gel and Force Supreme Blue Serum.
Photographs © Loïc Thebaud
Blue Beauty Lab, Oceanographic Institute Monaco images / information received 080822
Location: Monaco, southern Europe
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