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Sheer spectacle as a design theme isn’t new. As a matter of fact, it’s on the rise, given the prevailing sensibilities of the hugely influential Millennials and Generation Z demographics. The latter crowds have considerable spending power in China, spawning not only a growing number of imaginative retail concepts specifically geared towards them, but also contributing to the country’s stature as the new frontier in retail design. Falling in the latter category is the newest retail space of X11, a newly established retail concept offering a collection of coveted collectable dolls and other trophy toys. The store occupies a unit of 1,880 sqm. (20,236 sq.ft.) spread across two floors on the premises of InCity MEGA, a newly opened shopping centre in the heart of Wenzhou, a large coastal city 556 km south of Shanghai. The interior design, created by Shenzhen-based architecture practice BloomDesign, fuses tradition with modernity in a nifty way, and sees mortise-and-tenon joints, a traditional Chinese architectural element, with understated modern design.

Interestingly, the existing first floor has been taken out to create a triple-height space and enable the construction of a new mezzanine floor. Traditional structures form the skeleton—mirrored stainless steel tubes replace traditional wooden columns and brackets are built by adopting local timber and traditional mortise-and-tenon joints. The shopper’s spatial experience hinges on this architectural, scaffolding-like installation at the core of the premises and is reinforced by dramatic visual effects. The interventions are paired with raw concrete columns and beams, all retained after the thorough renovation, adding another visual layer. Transparent glass bridges and a suspended platform lure shoppers upstairs, adding to X11‘s sense of adventure. The new X11 store carries a large collection of ball-jointed dolls, hugely popular in this neck of the woods, Be@rbrick dolls, and a slew of other collectible dolls and toys.

Designed by BloomDesign
Images © BloomDesign
Photography: Lu Haha


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