Romanticism is a women’s clothing store in Hangzhou, only one of 500 that the brand has scattered over China, and its flagship store. Unique and unexpected, its exterior and interior design succeed in attracting consumers and beautifully expressing an idea, thus achieving both commercial and artistic value.
This store front is not the only one designed for this brand by Japanese architects Keiichiro Sako and Takeshi Ishizaka (SAKO Architects). Asked for an unrepeatable design that stays away from the ordinary, its creators built upon an idea and a motif. The fitting motif was the texture of clothes that envelop the skin and are in turn enveloped by space. The idea was to suggest the relationship between these three elements.
Despite its boldness, the result gives off the same feeling of sheltering and comfort as clothes do. The design achieves this by a smart combination of shape, light and negative spaces. An organic net built of steel rod, styrofoam and glass fiber drapes the entrance and welcomes the consumer with the promise of more inside. Indeed, the net structure continues into the store, where it turns into railings, counters, benches and partitions, creating a cohesive yet continuously fresh design.
Playing on soft, attractive curves, the storefront structure evokes the texture of fabric. Its irregular empty spaces are a smart way to create a double effect, suggesting communication between the inside and outside. The net is all-enveloping yet breathable, sturdy yet it seems to flow. It encircles, but does not close. It opens the inside to the outside and vice versa, the same way that our skin and clothes mitigate between inner and outer spaces.
Seen from outside, such a structure becomes intriguing and mysterious, inviting the passer-by to go in searching for what lies beyond it. Inside, it allows the store to open to the light. And the light is augmented by the all-present white, clean, fresh, invigorating – and modern. If the human eye is attracted by visual contrast, the façade of the Romanticism store offers plenty of it, making this store simply unmissable.
Learn about emerging trends of 2015 in commercial interior design HERE.
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