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
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