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Commissioned by UIXIU, a local multi-brand boutique of Qingdao, One Fine Day Studio & Partners(refer to as ofD) conceived its fourth store located in the luxury shopping mall Hisense Plaza. The client demanded a retro and slick mood for the new fit-out in order to fit in with the stylish mall context and provide a suitable milieu for the upcoming classic Chinese style collections. Looking to the Ancient Roman architecture aesthetics for inspiration, ofD brought a solemn and grandiose sensibility and pragmatism of spatial order into the location, using natural stone materials as main components to building a space aesthetic that blends the sense of eternity and vibrancy, echoing the curated boutique’s ethos — selecting the finest and maintaining the style through ups and downs of fashion trends.

Tranquil and Lively Palette. The starting point for the design is to amplify the sensory attraction of materials and colors to distinguish the brand’s characteristics among its variegated mall neighbors. ofD took marble as a pivot element to construct the spatial atmosphere, using its visual weight and varying hues to capture customers’ attention at the first sight. The door comprises of two oversized granite slabs, whose simply polished surfaces resemble the unprocessed jades. Selected to add an oriental flavor, the delicate and warm green neutralizes the cold and horny feeling of the material. As the prima color of the space, different shades of green symbolize a growing vitality. Along with the peaceful apricot tone, it separates the store from the outside hustle and bustle, allowing natural liveliness to extend in the quiet space.

The rhythm of the store is composed of evolving colors which are gradually added from the entry to the rear, evoking multiple layers of responses and imaginations. In the middle area, a mahogany granite partition wall is placed to contrast with the restrained light-tone base hues, brightening the space with its dense color. At the rear of the store, a blue display shelf brings an air of freshness into the space. Comprised of four color codes, the harmonious color scheme recalls the unique horizon scenery of the coastal city Qingdao: blue sea and sky, meadows and distant hills, red tile buildings, and white stone banks…… The combination brings back a refreshing regional memory, aligning the customers and the space.

Vibrant and Tactile Texture. Modular display tables and decorative panels stand still, whereas a flow of movement and vibrant dialogues are formed among their patterns and textures. Without physical links, those marks ripple over the material surfaces, all engaging in a silent visual play. In contrast to the calm and glossy sheen, the granite’s large-scale cracks and organic form patterns hint at a narrative of time changing, decaying, and regenerating. Additionally, steel frames of the display shelvings are clad in woodgrain finish and custom tables are covered with rippling circular marks, echoing with each other in a sharing natural mimicry form. In using the spreading patterns as a visual medium, ofD presents the flowing emotions of the space to customers.

Aesthetic pleasure lives in the details. As visual and tactile stimulations of materials bring to mind the delicacy of fabrics and craftsmanship, ofD took a design approach with a focus on textures to create an impressive offline shopping experience. Hard-surface materials, such as porous travertine and bumpy plaster walls, feature obvious scratches and dents as if they are traces of time. Compared to such “imperfect” is the softness of the new life: the cylindrical hanging rails are wrapped with soft recycled leather and the lush moss backdrop wall-covering is actually made of fluffy fabrics, reminiscent of an endless grass-field, fulfilling the space with a free spirit natural vibe.

A Rearranged Space in Order. Following the guide of order and practicability, ofD rearranged the layout, emphasizing a visual sense of the axis and the depth of the store. Although the planning is not strictly symmetrical, it can still lead eyes to trace the invisible axis line and look deeper into the inner area to get an overall impression of the store’s style and selections, while also leaving a blank for further exploration. The evenly arranged ceiling light panels are in coffer form, resembling the significant dome of the Pantheon, bathing the interior through filter plates in a classical glow. On both sides, hanging rails act as directional lines, inviting customers to step into the space. At the entrance, the sculpture-shaped center island, combining display and cashier functions, incarnates a practical consideration for efficient use of the space as well as a design intention for enhancing the solemn sensibility. With a sinuous structure, the island also leads the customer flow to go inside. The fitting room is divided into several independent boxes, two of which are placed in the middle of the store. The pair’s two inward-facing sides are clad with mirrors, whose reflections add a sense of layer to the space.

The display components can be assembled freely, while their frames were remolded into chunky volumes to harmonize with the other heavy blocks. Their hollow structures ensure a sense of transparency in the space. From different points of view, the structure either becomes an object in the painting or a picture frame for showcasing wear collections. From spatial planning based on a pragmatism perspective to a sensory aesthetic concept — implemented with multiple colors, tactile materials, and precise attention to detail, everything was designed to create layers and dialogues within the space, setting an enchanting poetic atmosphere. Both tranquil and vibrancy, sometimes clear and sometimes vague, the subtle and evocative spatial experience also enriches UIXIU’s brand imagery.

Architects: One Fine Day Studio & Partners
Lead Architect: Junpeng Li
Design Team: Hao Liang, Jiacheng Su
Photographs: YUUUUNSTUDIO

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