Oslo boutique by Snøhetta manifests the Scandinavian story of creation
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Oslo boutique by Snøhetta reinterprets the Scandinavian story of creation

Snøhetta used the Norse myth of creation as a starting point for the design of this fashion and lifestyle store in Oslo, which uses sculpted wood and blackened metal to suggest areas of fire and ice.

YME Universe concept store in Oslo by Snøhetta

Oslo-based Snøhetta collaborated with in-house team YME Studios on the design for the YME Universe concept store. It is described by the brand as "a curated universe of fashion, art, interior, and design".

Located within a well-preserved mid-19th century building, the store has three main floors. The designers used each of these levels to represent a different part of the mythic Scandinavian tale.

YME Universe concept store in Oslo by Snøhetta

The story tells of a primordial being made from ice and fire, who had to be killed for the world to be created. This prompted a series of interiors that transition from an icy cave to a blackened emptiness.

YME Universe concept store in Oslo by Snøhetta

"Different expressions meet on a variety of platforms in a gathered yet schizophrenic expression," said a statement from Snøhetta, who also recently contributed to the design of Norway's new banknotes.

YME Universe concept store in Oslo by Snøhetta

"The ambition was to create a universe based on the saga about YME that would take Oslo and Norway out to the rest of the world."

YME Universe concept store in Oslo by Snøhetta

A 25-metre-long wall of sculpted pine forms the ground floor entrance, designed to represent the coming together of 12 rivers in Ginnungagap – the void that existed before the manifestation of the universe.

YME Universe concept store in Oslo by Snøhetta

Beyond this, footwear, fashion accessories and homeware are presented against a backdrop of curving shelves and mirrors, designed to represent the ice of Niflheim, also known as the "mist world".

YME Universe concept store in Oslo by Snøhetta

The first floor is conceived as a middle ground between the cold lower level and the warm upper floor. Displaying womenswear, this level features a wooden parquet floor, as well as crumbling brick walls that have been revealed by removing old coverings and partitions.

YME Universe concept store in Oslo by Snøhetta

The menswear and bookshop floor above can be reached via a spiralling steel staircase, with a cluster of Lee Broom's crystal Decanterlights hanging above. Dark metal continues throughout the space and walls are painted black to recreate Muspelheim, the realm of fire.

YME Universe concept store in Oslo by Snøhetta

A cafe is located on this level, and the designers also plan to offer access to a landscaped roof terrace.

YME Universe concept store in Oslo by Snøhetta

A glass bridge spans two sections of the floor, allowing customers to look down into a 12-metre-high exhibition space.

Photography is by Ketil Jacobsen.