Silence Room

Selfridges, London


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Harry Gordon Selfridge once built a room that allowed visitors to escape the stimulation of the department store. No visual records of this room exist.


We were challenged to reinvent a room that could serve as a refuge for a visitor. A place where life can slow right down. 


We created a room within a room – an inner chamber of silence. The outer room became a corridor connecting the shop floor to the Silence Room while serving as a buffer zone against noise and traffic. A singular light bulb in each corner guides the visitor down the black corridors towards the narrow entrance of the chamber. 


We worked with natural wool felt for its acoustic and tactile qualities, inducing a feeling of tranquility and calm. A continuous oak bench wraps around the perimeter deepening at the shorter ends of the room so one can lie down. Discreet linear lighting is the only source of warm light. 


The complex forms of the mechanical services at ceiling level remain on show reminding us of a more chaotic world outside.