Take a city with a cycling culture that is the envy of the world. Then take a young, vibrant brand designing and producing cycling apparel and accessories that is simply leading the pack. What do you get? The Rapha Copenhagen Clubhouse. It is almost a year now since Rapha invested in the retail concept store in central Copenhagen joining an elite band from Seoul to Seattle. And on a barmy August day a steady flow of customers, a mix of local cycle enthusiasts to curious tourists visiting the capital, the investment appears to be working. Design aficionados will be well aware of the British brand, founded by Simon Mottram in 2004. Rapha’s design signature has always been a mix of functionality with a dash of panache that wouldn´t look out-of-place on a Paul Smith rack. Bold colors and fabrics that cut the grind, wonderfully designed by Rapha’s Alex Valdman, are shaped for those gruelling photogenic mountain tops to your daily urban commute.
Rapha’s retail space on Kristen Bernikovs Gade is a lively combination of merchandize presentation and a café, which unites the space into an atmosphere of an informal clubhouse, where customers can mingle with fellow enthusiasts, exchange views over a double espresso, whilst glancing at something hanging on a rail. The British-based design studio behind the concept, Brinkworth re-defined Rapha´s retail experience in 2012, resulting in a more engaging and accessible retail environment. The project in Copenhagen was a joint venture between Brinkworth and the local studio, Årstiderne Architects, no strangers to retail design themselves. If you’re planning on getting around on the city’s 465 km. bike lanes in style, then Rapha Copenhagen would be an excellent place to start.
Content & Images: Phillip Mills
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