Vopnabúrið by Sruli Recht



Reykjavik designer Sruli Recht has completed the interior of his own flagship store in an abandoned fishery in Reykjavik, Iceland.


Called Vopnabúrið ('The Armoury' in Icelandic), the store displays Recht's range of Non-products and fashion pieces alongside artworks inspired by old telegrams, created by Megan Herbert.


Materials used for the interior include shipping palettes, wooden scaffolding and rusting sheets of roofing material, all reclaimed from abandoned construction sites in the city.


The floor is painted in a colour "somewhere between blood and rust", which Recht points to as the store's theme, and the walls are lined with patterned corrugated cardboard.


Here's some more information from Sruli Recht:


The Armoury [Vopnabúrið] has opened amongst the retrofitted once-rusting ships and abandoned private fisheries of Reykjavik's Fishpacking District. The new store presents for acquirement Sruli Recht’s arsenal of non-products and the illustrated topo-graphic narratives of Megan Herbert. The Armoury is situated in this isolated area to control client visits so as to allow for a one-on-one interaction with our attendants and to provide them all the time and attention needed.


The Armoury offers:

The collection of Sruli Recht non-products - a gradually growing arsenal of accidents caught somewhere between product design, weapons manufacturing, corroded tailoring and shoe making. Based in Reykjavík, the Armoury presents from the Sruli Recht studio one new “non-product” every month from umbrellas to bulletproof scarves, tables, bags to belts and boots, and incorporating such materials as concrete, diamonds, skin and wool.

This series of illustrated topo-graphic narratives from Megan Herbert are motivated by old Czechoslovakian telegrams, transmitting distressing and beautiful massages. Each shaped timber shield is formed from layers of historical paper, intricate paper cuts and illustrations to tell a story - for people's anguish is one moment in time.


About the making of the store:

Everything used in putting The Armoury [Vopnabúrið] together was reclaimed from the now abandoned construction sites around reykjavík - from the dried and weather worn-shipping palettes to the long wood scaffolding, old metal frames, steps and wheeled bases.

The Vopnabúrið sign was made from discarded rusted roofing sheets and cut to shape with a water jet, and to create the colour of the floor we mixed a hue somewhere between blood and rust - an overall theme and tone for the store.

As we stripped away the former layers of the room its beautiful structure and colossal concrete beams emerged and became the grand highlights that now define the space.

The high walls are lined with a patterned corrugated cardboard, and the industrial castors were bestowed by the custodial facility from their inoperative waste containers. Hidden above a floating ceiling were old crucifix-shaped timber girders that supported the structure from which we now suspend the lighting.


The interior of The Armoury is a filtered reflection of its surrounding environment.

We opened the store to create an uncompromising space to show both mine and Megan's work. In a sense it is my flagship store, a place to present the collections exactly as I see them, and also to serve as a forum to experiment with new ideas, and Megan's gallery/store. I have been selling in stores around the world for some years, and a lot on-line, but it really came time to bring it all together in one space in the town I/we live in. So really it is part store, part showroom and part control group.

The store is in an area called Grandi which used to be the area that the fish were dragged up from the boats. There are very few companies out here still operating directly in the fish catching industry... it is mostly large companies selling or fixing boat parts and nets, or processing fish into oil. recently some small businesses have moved out here and a younger creative feel has been growing. So we called it the Fishpacking District, which is what the Grandi area is known as in Icelandic.

We put it out here a little way from town to slow down the visitation, mostly because of our own experiences in other stores. When I am in another store I am often waiting to ask questions and feel that the attendant doesn't provide me with what I need or doesn't know what I want to know. In the Armoury we have set it up so that a client is given all the time and information they need, making the experience more personal.


Currently the store sells my non-products - Umbrellas, wallets, belts, shoes, typefaces, scarves. Right now we are beginning to leak the early prototypes of the upcoming bag collection - men's and women's bags from concrete, horse-skin, lava stone. It also has the few garments that we still make. The product design in the store carries a slow dark subtext layered within the function or material in the construction, i.e.. The Umbuster, The Damned bullet proof pocket square, Garotte necklace, and serves as the platform to present each of our upcoming product releases such as our upcoming eye frames, glass-pens and jewellery.

The Armoury sells the Illustration work of Megan Herbert, in flat form, on objects, a wallpaper line and gift wrap paper selection. Megan's illustrations take the viewer on a different narrative as she uses old telegrams and message papers, crossing them with her ink work. This work is mounted on shields, painted on matriarchs dolls and marries themes of anguish, beauty and daily world events.

Posted on Wednesday September 2nd 2009 at 12:03 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Clatyon

    Wow… I can say now more than ever that I would never want to visit a particular store. This is how I imagine stores looking post-nuclear war. Nice work!

  • Fantastic! The colours and textures are shivery and delicious. Yum.

  • swoon

  • bagelwithcreamcheeseplease

    bumbaclaat dun get it!

  • Lady C

    And I quote, “Reason not the need”.

  • Smekkleysa

    This is not Design.

    It looks like someone was cleaning up his Garage and could not get rid of some of his stuff.

    I think you would find design like this in many of random chosen newly cleaned Garages in Iceland.

    This is a good exmpel of confused design projects where the people involved have lost their toutch

  • amsam


    I think this is extremely evolved Design. I want to look at these pictures again and again to try to attain that level of weird trash zen… brilliant.

  • Smekkleysa

    Please amsam.

    Inform me about the specific brilliance in the design and the evolutionary approach.

    I need help to cath the brilliance, orginality or the extremely evolved design you are talking about.

  • von

    Smekkleysa would obviously prefer things to look like all the other Ikea filled Icelandic stores and homes.
    Amazing, that even after a financial chrisis we Icelanders are unable to see the beauty and value of reclaiming and re-purposing older things and materials, or making something new from them.

  • Love it. It’s doesn’t seem to have much to do with anything – least of all design. Perhaps it’s the future – ‘ undesign’ for those who are tired of designed-to-death interiors.

  • Smekkleysa


    I did not say that I did not like it. I consider it like “arkitecture without architects” or “design without designers”.

  • actually looks more like art than design……i love it!

  • Hilmar Þór

    I think I will pay Vopnabúrið a visit and see for my self. Actually from the presentation on this blog I think Smekkleysa and Veato have a say when they think it is more art than design and it is “design without designers” or “architecture without architects”

    The “design” or whatever is definitly interesting.

  • Gudrun

    Very Sruli-ish…:) love it:)

  • I’m coming over in october to have a look for myself, but I’m already very very proud of Sruli and Megan for what they’ve achieved. I know this will be a great platform for them both.

  • Hilmar Þór

    I paid Vopnabúrið a visit yesterday.
    It was really nice. Nice space and nice design.
    I recommend it.

  • j

    love his designs, love the pace