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Aimé Pâtisserie, a new brand entering the Shanghai market, has positioned its flagship store in an elevated retail strip on Huai Hai Road. The chosen site is flanked by familiar coffee and donut franchises, and fronted by a city bus-stop. Across the street is the recently opened shopping mall flaunting an array of luxury brands. The design challenge of the store is to stand out from its immediate chaos and appeal to the clientele from the close-by gentrified neighborhood. Our strategy is to dress this newcomer up as a white present.

The unwrapping experience of the Aimé gift box is translated into the physical store.  The idea of layering appears when we lift one semicircular translucent paper after another to discover the colourfulmacarons within. This opening sequence gives form to the overhead storefront design, while the window display made of four translucent layers attracts passers-by to explore inside the store.

Beyond the 4.5m retail storefront lies a turning L-shape layout divided into 2 zones: the foyer with bar seating and the display counter at the back.  With a lower ceiling, the former compresses views of the latter, yet frames the illuminated feature wall to capture the curious minds. Every step forward heightens the discovery of the playful interior where the 9m long counter showcasing macarons and other goodies in perfect order.

The illuminated feature wall composed of stacked gift boxes at various states of opening draws one’s eyes up to the ceiling were the whimsical pattern continues. The versatile modular system allows for necessary wall display shelves, and ceiling openings for spotlights, speakers, and security devices.

In light of the neutral palette evoking a gallery ambiance, the branding wall is created with an artistic approach where aluminum bands are twirled and bent to cast calligraphic shadow.  A visit to this white gift box should be a delight to the eyes as much as to the sweet tooth.

Design: Lukstudio / Christina Luk, Mavis Li, Wesley Shu, Scott Baker
Photography: Peter Dixie for LOTAN Architectural Photography

About Christina Luk, founder of Lukstudio
Christina Luk was born and brought up in Hong Kong. Stimulated by artistic and innovative things in her surroundings, Christina was aspired to bein the creative field from an early age. After graduated from the Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Toronto, Christina worked in Toronto and obtained her OAA architect license before relocated to Shanghai, China in 2007. In the past 10 years, Christina has been working in medium to big size projects as an architect and a project manager. She has accumulated all facets of the design and construction in a broad range of projects including urban planning, heritage conservation, mixed-used architectural complex, institutional, hospitality interiors and gallery exhibit design. Her strength is in articulating each client’s needs and leading her team to fulfill the potentials of each project. Christina founded Lukstudio in Shanghai in 2011, since then her team has created a portfolio that showcases a passionfor materials and craftsmanship.

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