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Since its inception in 2013 as an online retailer in cosmetics, HARMAY‘s operations have gone leaps and bounds. The company’s exponential growth in recent years gained momentum with its foray into brick and mortar retail two years ago by setting up shop in Shanghai, and followed by an outpost in Hong Kong last Spring. And now, HARMAY has expanded yet again, and this time with a flagship store at homebase Beijing. Situated in Sanlitun, arguably the most fashionable shopping zone in the Chinese capital, the store occupies a 650 sqm. (6,997 sq.ft.) unit spread over two floors of a multi-storey modern structure, and sees a renewed collaboration with AIM Architecture which designed the retailers previous stores. A façade of opaque glass blocks warps around both floors, allowing in floods of natural light. Upon entering the store, shoppers find themselves in industrial-inspired space replete with bare concrete walls and pillars, granite tile flooring, suspended utilitarian lighting and sleek modern interventions.

Part of the ceiling has been removed, and not only increases the sense of spaciousness, but also creates a visual unity between the two floors. Taking centre stage is an elongated conveyor belt-inspired loop which serves as a desk slash display to present a section of HARMAY products. Right in the middle, a spiral staircase is situated which leads up to the second floor. Lining the glass façade are bucket seats in a bright green hue. One floor up, shoppers encounter five themed rooms, each offering a different aesthetic and product line. The perfume room stands out because of it’s colour-infused flower patterned walls and so does the gallery room where artwork can be viewed. The new HARMAY flagship store carries the brand’s own line of cosmetics fragrances, but also equivalent items from a range of foreign brands, including Dermalogica, Botanist, Orezza, Rose et Marius and SG79|STHLM.

Designed by AIM Architecture
Images © AIM Architecture
Photography: Dirk Weiblen

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