haining is a water-bred city about 100 km to the southwest of shanghai and 60km east of hangzhou. mostly known for its leather products and textiles, the city is also famous for its shadow puppetry, the art of storytelling with light and shadow that gradually evolved into cinematography. given a street corner site and the mixed program of a retail store with a café, lukstudio explores the idea of theatre to put the spotlight on the fashion platform of ‘dear so cute’ store. instilling a sense of performance in the visitors, the shopping activities are staged as a spectacle while the café area hosts the sitting audience.

openings frame the action within the boxes

 

 

three boxes clad with steel and polycarbonate panels are placed on the elevated platform, in a manner of a theatre set. apart from hiding the existing columns, these boxes break down the original open floor into smaller rooms for a more human-scale experience. windows here frame views of interest and doorways provide a clear path of circulation engaging shoppers or café-goers to wander and discover.


view of the open platform display

 

 

the terraced stage is cast-in-place with white terrazzo, shaping planters and seating while designating areas for display and circulation. two contrasting effects are achieved by lighting pink acrylic panels behind the polycarbonate walls. on the outside, the subtle hues add warmth to the austere space; on the inside, the intense lights paint the entire room in pink and add to the intimate atmosphere. inspired by the backstage rigging system, the display hangers, mirrors, and menu boards can be adjusted in heights with a pulley-counterweight cabling mechanism.


the pink-lit wall creates a contrasting atmosphere from the neutral platform area

 

 

a variety of seating are designed to attract different café-loungers: casual tables along the façade, a bar with a view under the tilt-up window, a common table for a bigger group and even a sunken area evoking a swimming pool. clear glazing is used to ensure unobstructed views of the interior activities, inviting others to enter and participate in the scenes. through infusing the experience of an immersive theatre into the dear so cute store in haining, lukstudio experiments how commercial activities can bring people together and contribute to a better public realm.


boxes with openings are placed on the elevated platform in a manner of a theatre set

 


the shopping activities are stages as a spectacle while the cafe area hosts the sitting audience

 


the cafe counter marks the audience corner

 


the ‘watch and be watched’ setting blurs the distinction between performers and audience

 


the subtle pink hues soften the austere space

 


the terraced stage is cast-in-place with white terrazzo, shaping planters and seating while designating areas for display and circulation

 


with the floor to ceiling mirrors and a trail of pink velvet curtains at this mini-stage, trying on new treasures takes on an exhibitionist twist

 


clear glazing has been used to ensure unobstructed views fo the interior activities, inviting others to enter and participate in the scenes

 


by infusing the experience of an immersive theatre into the retail store, lukstudio experiments how commercial activities can bring people together and contribute to a better street corner

 

project info:

 

location: store no. 101-102, shangdong commercial center, no. 23 wanli road, haining

interior area: 260 sqm

exterior area: 60 sqm

architect and interior designer: lukstudio

director: christina luk

design team: alba beroiz blazquez, ray ou, leo wang, kevin yang, sarah wang

scope: façade design, interior design, lighting design & exterior lounge design

lighting consultant: studio illumine

materials: huili polycarbonate sheets, gainker pink acrylic panels, houxiang white terrazzo flooring, dupont white solid surface, imondi wood flooring, sandblasted stainless steel panels with nano treatment, cement paint, wood flooring, fabric wall finish

furniture: norman copenhagen, hay

lighting fixtures: muuto, great lighting

design period: 2017.05 -2017.10

construction period: 2017.11 – 2018.06

construction: shanghai savor construction &decoration co. ltd.

photography: dirk weiblen

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