Interior designer Katja Reiter has already completed much-noticed projects in Nuremberg. Here, her latest task was to create a place that makes visitors feel like they are stepping into a separate world in the middle of the city.
Together with Retterspitz owner and Managing Director Markus Valet, she found inspiration in the style and shopping capital of Europe, Milan, gathered impressions for the interior design and, in her search for something special, found what she was looking for in the Franconian Jura. Just as it should be: after all, Retterspitz not only stands for healing, caring and wellbeing, but also regionality.
To create the oasis for the senses that Retterspitz was looking for, Katja Reiter visited nearby Eichstätt. It was there that she found a raw material that has been there for over 155 million years, and that will be turned into a tactile and visual experience: Jura marble is a stone known for its characteristic abundance of fossils such as ammonites.
It can be found, for example, in the Walhalla memorial in Regensburg and in Eichstätt Cathedral. Now it has found its way to Augustinerhof in Nuremberg. “We purchased around 12 tonnes of this stone,” explains Katja Reiter.
“In the quarry, we were put in contact with stonemason Mario Gruber from the company Marmor Stettinger, who brought our ideas to life.
And it wasn’t a simple job: The stone was to be used to create a presentation wall to display the products – but the floor of the flagship store was unable to carry a heavy load. So each step of the stone wall had to be hollowed out individually to reduce the overall weight of the installation.
A source of wellbeing
The result is a tiered wall featuring a water cascade – an atmospheric way to present products.
“We didn’t want to simply display the Retterspitz products on a stack of shelves,” explains Katja Reiter. “Instead, they are now displayed in the setting of a spring, which reflects the natural character of the company philosophy.
The water cascades down from a basin on the wall, flowing over the liquid for external use "Retterspitz Äußerlich" and the liquid for oral use "Retterspitz Innerlich" displayed below.
Water also features in the large central block of the flagship store – a basin has been carved into a block of marble, where, after testing shower gels and creams, customers can wash their hands under a faucet that extends down from the ceiling while also functioning as a light.
The terraced wall and marble basin are also a small part of the flagship store’s comprehensive overall lighting concept, which adapts to changes in daylight and comprises a range of different downlights and LED installations.
A floor of pebbles from the Danube
“The large central block and the wall form an area we call the ‘rock garden’,” explains Katja Reiter. “Grasses and herbs, such as rosemary, can grow straight out of the floor near the display window. We have planned gaps in the flooring for this, to avoid having to use flower pots or other containers.”
Across the terrazzo flooring made using polished pebbles from the Danube, a step takes visitors from the “rock garden” to the pharmacy room, which was constructed from refined, steam-bent wood.
All of the woodwork, including the pharmacy cabinet and the sales counter, was completed by the carpenters from Brett Einrichtung, based in Lauf an der Pegnitz. “When creating all of these lovingly crafted masterpieces, it was important to us that they have a timeless character and look as if they could date from a past century,” explains Katja Reiter.
That is exactly what the Retterspitz flagship store is intended to convey to its visitors: a history rich in tradition going back 120 years, based on traditional knowledge and trust in natural materials to this today and always harmoniously combined with the latest findings and standards.
A screen in the subtly lit medicine cupboard displays a video clip that familiarises customers with the Retterspitz philosophy. And at night, when the city is sleeping and the flagship store is closed, passers-by who peek through the window will even be able to discover company founder Margarete Retterspitz, producing the original raw mixture for the classic Retterspitz Äußerlich in old crucibles and bowls.
But that... well that’s something you have to see for yourself.