the silence room at selfridges by alex cochrane architects – london

alex cochrane architects has created a space for shoppers at london department store selfridges to find peace and quiet amid the bustling emporium.

after removing their shoes, visitors are channeled into a dark corridor with light bulbs hung in each corner to guide them around the back of the rectangular box and through a gap in the wall. cream felt covering the walls, floor and seats helps to insulate some of the sound and provide comfortable surfaces to relax on once inside. “we’ve seen people sleeping there, meditating there. one person was seen praying there,” cochrane said.

a modular bench finished in oak veneer wraps around the edge of the room, becoming deeper at the shorter ends of the room to provide extra space to lie down. LED lighting hidden at floor level and behind the seating creates an ambient glow. services and ductwork on the ceiling remain exposed but painted black as a subtle reminder of the nature of the building.

“similar to the background noise, we wanted to keep the visual noise from the ceiling. we wanted it to serve as a reminder of being in a commercial institution such as selfridges,” cochrane explained. the silence room was created for the store’s no noise campaign, which also includes the sale of limited edition products with no brand names.