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Modern spectacle maker Cubitts reveal newly-refurbished Borough store

Their Borough store has had a complete renovation inspired by places of worship.

CUBITTS continues to open its nine London stores after months of lockdown. Their Borough store, on the historic Park Street, has had a complete renovation inspired by places of worship.

The store’s site was once the Borough Market Mission Hall and served as a church for the local market workers. 

Founder Tom Broughton said, “The site was once a place of worship, so we wanted to celebrate its former use through our ecclesiastical design while elevating our own deity - the humble pair of spectacles.”

Cubitts brought in designer Deidra Hodgson to work on the re-fit. Hodgson’s aesthetic comes from an anthropological approach, ensuring there’s a feeling of warmth, but not at the expense of functionality. 

Hodgson said: “Taking inspiration from the divine symbolism of the ziggurat, geometry of Modernist churches and Wolfgang Laib’s work, 'Without Beginning and Without End', the store evokes its previous life as a mission hall while creating a myriad style framework for its new inhabitants.” 

Taking the ecclesiastical theme as a reference point for its refurbishment, the central focus of the store is a custom-built wooden point of sale inspired by the angular altars of Modernist churches around the world. 

The frame displays are based on the ziggurat, an ancient structure first constructed by the Mesopotamians to raise their temples closer to the heavens and therefore closer to the gods. 

At the back of the store, a confessional window allows penitents to bring their broken frames for Cubitts to repair, reglaze, or refurbish. They’ll even give them a hydrosonic clean to wash away their sins. Elsewhere a donation box is on hand for kind souls to drop off their old frames, which Cubitt will polish up and recycle, donating them to eye health charities that they work within Kenya and Ethiopia. 

Inside bold primary colours abound, a colour palette also was chosen after extensive research into the design details of Modernist churches. The exterior, however, remains its signature vivid yellow shade - a nod to the store’s previous incarnation as a banana and potato wholesaler. 

Cubitts

Deidra Hodgson