Snapshot: London-based creative firm Waldo Works have restored and revamped Selfridges' International Customer Services Luxury Lounge with a nod to the golden age of travel in the early 1900s when the retailer opened their Palm Court restaurant that existed in this exact location.
One might ask, why does a department store need an international customer services lounge? Selfridges, a retailer who values their growing international client base, saw it fit to create a comfortable place for non-residents to process their taxes. The lounge consists of a Tax Refund Lounge, two Tax Free Halls, and several VIP areas accommodating the needs of high-net-wroth individuals, VIP’s and visiting shopping tour groups. The space also offers customers the benefits of a Quiet Room, two library areas, a Refreshment Room and a Mac Bar. For guests who want to take a moment to worship or meditate, a Faith Room is also available in the lounge.
Waldo Works is a design firm that has been outfitting London with refined and luxe spaces for over a decade. With architect Tom Bartlett at the helm, the design team approached the creation of the lounge by looking back in time. In the early 1900s when Selfridges opened, the era was marked by a golden age of travel and a growing opulence that influenced the way public and private buildings were designed. During this time, Selfridges opened their Palm Court restaurant, an eatery famously known for its vibrant tropical decor.
A multi-million pound investment, and part of the architectural restoration of the Neo Classical building, the department tripled in size and now occupies 16,000 sq ft of prime retail space. The lounge is set above the main entrance to the store and the iconic Queen of Time clock.
Waldo Works restored the historical columns and moldings, then created a series of wide-opened halls which amplified the grand scale of the space. Glossy wall panels lined with a green and deep blue tropical motif partnered with smooth wood surfaces help create the cool and luxurious ambiance. Waldo Works used brass globe wall sconces as a nod to the 1900s, then introduced modern fluorescent tube light ceiling fixture as a refresher of the current times. A refined selection of postmodern furniture pieces are scattered throughout the space to ensure a comfortable and extraordinary customer experience.
Photographs by Ruy Teixeira