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Camera brand Nikon reinvigorates its presence in southern China with a new Guangzhou flagship designed by Lukstudio.

Key features
The successful reception of Lukstudio’s design for Nikon’s Shanghai touchpoint motivated the brand to take the collaboration further with a flagship in Guangzhou. Continuing the design language established for the Shanghai location, the creatives took over a fan-shaped space at Grandview Mall. A gallery hall, product display zone and event area anchor the layout, comprising an inviting environment for amateur and professional photographers alike. Lukstudio’s design makes several references to the art of photography, from the tactile, visual compelling materiality to the situation of furniture.

A challenging bulky central structure inspired the spatial intervention, which included the addition of curved longitudinal shafts; it now serves as the core product display zone. Lit optic lenses spell out ‘Guangzhou’ along a gallery wall, connected to an exhibition space with long benches and modular tables. The event area can host casual hangouts and product discovery to dedicated workshops and studio shoots, thanks to equally flexible furnishings. Concentric mirrored stainless steel strips clad the ceiling, bringing an illusory effect to the space – ‘floating’ self-lit shelves and metal finishes amplify the impact. Rammed earth details, reed-lined islands and wood-veneer shelving offset the interior’s futuristic feel, recalling the sensation of photographing nature.

FRAME’s take
Many of the Chinese retail projects that we have featured in past years are situated in shopping malls, whereas it’s very rare to see spatial design of the same calibre in their Western counterparts. As reported by South China Morning Post earlier this year, post-COVID ‘revenge spending’ is set to have Shanghai malls see considerable spikes in tenancies. This means the time is ripe for domestic and international retailers to re-instil – and perhaps spark new – interest in their offer, restyling their mall outposts to reflect the interests of new experience-focused consumers.

Nikon achieved that in Shanghai and now in Guangzhou, with the new location doubling down on the notion that contemporary retail is all about community. The layered use of materials and lighting – and manipulation of the existing space – creates an environment that welcomingly departs from what one would expect in a setting populated by corporate retailers.

Designed by Lukstudio
Photography by Huangzaohui


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