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Nendo transforms hybrid retail space in Thailand into a Lifestyle Laboratory
Thailand Architecture News - Aug 01, 2016 - 10:14 19534 views
Japanese and Milan based design office Nendo has transformed new retail space into a 'Lifestyle Laboratory' by adding different showcases for fashion products in Bangkok, Thailand. Commissioned by Siam Piwat, an operator of prestige retail developments, the new development introduces revolutionary retail concept to Thailand as the 'Biggest Arena for Lifestyle Experiments.'
The US$ 112 million new building repositions itself as ‘thought leader’ of many famous brands by embedding many interactive activities and surprise experiences created with latest technology. Called Siam Discovery, the projects covers 40,000 square-metres of space, placing special emphasis on allowing visitors to experiment by trying out new products and new ideas and giving them opportunities to to discover and re-discover themselves.
The complex-which a hybrid between a shopping center and department store-features many existing circular atriums dotted through the building were extended and joined up to create an elongated canyon-like space of over 58 m that draws visitors into the back of the building.
Nendo adds a wall consisting of a stack of 202 frame-shaped boxes with video monitors, digital signage and displays of merchandise inside them was installed along one side of the atrium, and this plays the role of a directory for the whole store.
The wall also has the effect of drawing visitors to the upper floors since it extends up from the first to the fourth floor. And by repositioning the escalators to run through the atrium and wall, the design also facilitates a smoother flow of visitors.
Nendo also designs an exterior of the retail complex by opening up it the outside as much as possible and so the design studio cleares away as much from the walls as structural constraints permitted with the aim of eliminating the previous sense of oppressiveness. However, to balance the intense heat of the sun in the building, Nendo created a double-skinned facade decorated with a pattern that reflects the “stacked box” installation in the atrium.
Since this new retail space was a hybrid between a shopping center and department store, the studio worked on the environmental design not only for the common use areas, but also all for the self-curated retail space which comprises the majority of the site, except for some of the tenants. Rather than categorizing merchandise by brand the experience is organized around the theme of ''Lifestyle Laboratory.''
''Its innovativeness will reinforce Siam Piwat’s reputation as a thought-leader in Thailand’s retail sector capable of creating unprecedented destinations that compete with the best of the world as well as support Bangkok’s appeal as the retail hub of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and a favourite shopping destination for the world,'' said Mrs. Chadatip Chutrakul, Chief Executive Officer of Siam Piwat.
Mrs. Chutrakul added, ''We have created a venue where thousands of lifestyle brands are brought together under a single universal concept that puts customers at the centre. That means everything presented at Siam Discovery is not organized by brand, or category, as in traditional retailing, but by visitors’ interests, because our purpose is no longer just to sell products but to provide an extraordinary and emotional experience that allows visitors to discover and express themselves.''
This aims at encouraging visitors to discover and enjoy a mixture of tastes and lifestyles, and to reflect this we designed motifs at 13 different locations around the sales floors that include laboratory equipment such as beakers, flasks, and test-tubes, and diagrams of molecular structures, nucleotide DNA sequences, microscopes and amoeba, smoke and bubbles to reflect this.
The studio blended the finishes on the floors and ceilings in the common areas and retail spaces in a graduated way which gives an impression that different materials are stirred together. In this way, Nendo created an atmosphere where people can feel relaxed and feel free to approach the stores.
''These experiences are highly interactive and with lots of opportunities for visitors to personalize their purchases. We also empower visitors to make statements about their life preferences, whether it be about sustainability or a love of nature, and to support those preferences through their purchases, and through occasions to interact with like-minded people and communities.''
''And then we further enhances those experiences through the power of the most advanced digital technology. It’s a totally new and an extraordinarily exciting way of presenting products and their associated lifestyles,'' she said.
The studio also created a character called ''Discovery Man'' as the symbol for the retail complex. The office wanted to make a character that expresses intellectual curiosity and creativity, so his head is a cube like those used throughout the design of the building and the top is slightly open as if something is always popping in and out.
The character serves as a guide in the complex, and as one of the opening events 30 creative artists from Thailand and across the rest of Asia were chosen to paint and customize them to decorate the space.
Sam Piwat expects the new Siam Discovery to attract, in the first year, 100,000 visitors a day, with around 35% being international visitors. Products are presented are in five different categories including Everyday Products, Trend Products, Innovative Products & Services, Sustainable Products, and Collaborations and Absolute Siam Products.
Siam Piwat will also introduce some of the most exciting new approaches to dining. Food and beverage outlets are integrated with retail and activity areas. More than 2,500 square metres are dedicated to food and beverage across the entire building. It will also introduce to Thailand one of the world’s most famous dining brands which will be sensation when launched.
Nendo's first sketch-layering products
Client: Siam Piwat Co., Ltd.
Date: May 2016
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Collaborator: Taisuke Sumihiro (NOMURA Co.,Ltd), Shohei Suzuki (NOMURA Co.,Ltd), awn, oni, syk
All images © Takumi Ota
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