Shop interior for Decathlon

In the summer of 2021, Rotor was hired by Decathlon Belgium to assist them in the move of one of their stores to a bigger and more visible structure, located in the same commercial complex. The work of Rotor consisted of evaluating the incoming and outgoing material flows, and to see how the principles of reuse could be applied in this kind of project. 

After visiting the site, we drew up an inventory for both buildings, listing the materials with potential for reuse. The identified elements were salvaged with care and integrated in the new store project, sold or donated.

Secondly, we analysed the design of the new interior in order to maximize the preservation of the existing walls and materials already in place, and identify possible batches of reclaimed materials to be integrated in the design. Together with Decathlon’s designers, we slightly adapted the interior layout to align better with the existing one, taking advantage of the existing pipe network at the same time. The existing concrete floor has been refurbished and left with no added finish. Other elements, such as the HVAC and electrical equipment could simply be preserved as well.

Furthemore, reclaimed materials found on the market have been bought for the project and placed by Decathlon’s usual contractors: a kitchen, terrazzo cladding for sanitary spaces, glass partition walls and doors. The integration of these elements created unexpected architectural moments in otherwise often anonymous, impersonal interiors. Also, Decathlon recently started to manage an internal stock of items recovered from their own store modifications, which provided reclaimed rails and lighting fixtures for the entire new store.

To accommodate the unconventional sourcing of materials, we have been very careful to exchange with the contractors, understand their concerns and listen to their expertise while offering support during the works, but in the end the integration of the reclaimed elements happened without significant difficulties. Despite the fast pace project across the summer break, Decathlon’s team showed enthusiasm and willingness to adapt their project to preservation and reuse strategie. Their flexibility made this project remarkably successful in terms of attention to the existing situation and the integration of reuse, while completely staying within the predefined budget - even though this “shoe box” typology of big warehouse interiors is not something that quickly comes to mind when thinking about sustainability. 

Rotor project team: 

Renaud Haerlingen, Cecile Guichard, Beatrice Godon, Tom Schoonjans


For Decathlon Belgium: Michiel Goetschalckx, Stefan Schins, Mathias De Cock