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Pink hues and 3D tactile wall textures form Cosmetea Store in Shanghai designed by Nax Architects
China Architecture News - Mar 01, 2021 - 12:00 3284 views
Named Cosmetea Store, the 75-square-metre store is located in an old neighborhood on Yuyuan Road, Shanghai, China, but it draws attention with its bright façade and pinkish interiors mixed with metallic touches.
As the architects explain in their project description, tea embodies humanity and culture. "Its inherent ancient wisdom as well as its pure and clean beauty have surpassed an awareness of East and West to gain universal acceptance," said the studio.
"This beverage is healthy and suitable for social interactions. In the context of a new era, tea's dual advantages express it in more enriched and diverse ways, making it a suitable aspect of modern urban residents' lifestyles."
According to the architects, this store was conceived as a "Tea House" providing a space for retailing, socializing and experiencing the space, which was conceptualized as a “tea house floating in the mountains”.
Designed for a tea cosmetics brand Cosmetea, the brand subverts the previous definition of cosmetics by innovatively integrating tea with trendy cosmetics.
As the team highlight, the brand uses Tea Beauty Science to create modern fashion aesthetics based on natural Eastern sentiments.
Nax Architects was entrusted to conceive a store for the brand in Shanghai. Based on the dimensions of spatial design and brand planning, construction of art and an immersive scenario experience, as well as an exploration of differences between natural and artificial realms, the pop-up represents the philosophy of relationships between existing environments and future architecture. Moreover, it promotes the brand’s creative and sustainable evolution.
A fashion destination in old neighborhood
This project is located on Yuyuan Road, a hundred-year-old road that has undergone many changes and represents the essence of Shanghai’s history and culture.
The site is surrounded by dense rows of old buildings. The studio drew on the brand’s conceptual prototype of ‘taste a beautea’ to develop new ideas, and chose the form of layered and irregular mountain ranges as well as a leisurely, quiet and welcoming atmosphere as design languages.
Surreal scenes & lighting effects
Taking inspiration from the “view framing” techniques in Chinese classical garden design, the architects set a modern minimalist stainless steel screen at the entrance.
This adds a hazy rhythm while hinting at the “tea house” concept. It also forms a readily recognizable brand personality, which attracts pedestrians to stop and visit.
When gradually entering the store, customers will encounter a long suspended stainless steel table set in the middle of the space, which matches with the stainless steel screen.
Moreover, the floating lighting fixtures installed under the old concrete ceiling, along with the unique lighting effects of glass bricks, generate surreal scenes and interplay of light and shadows.
Soft hues & tactile textures
The overall spatial tone is based on an extract of Pu’er tea’s brilliant red color, which is blended into low-saturation pink hues. The pink color palette explains the integration of cosmetics products and tea culture, whilst creating a soothing environment for modern people.
The indirect light source’s smudging gradually results in the diatom mud walls displaying a blank and imaginary Chinese ink wash painting. Moreover, the wall surface’s three-dimensional tactile texture makes people feel that they are experiencing nature’s vitality.
A flexible and variable "magic cube"
The fixed steps composed of glass bricks and metal provide an esthetic that balances lightness and heaviness, and guide customers to slowly walk upwards and freely sit down. The transparent materials enliven the atmosphere, infuses the multilevel space with a “sense of floating”, and invites customers to freely explore inside the store.
The flexibility of spatial configuration and functions is embodied in the pluggable display rack that creates more possibilities for exhibiting products, and the mobile steps made of OSB paneling and perforated metal.
The movable stairs are inlaid with Cosmetea product bottle caps, and the brand logo on the caps are highlighted by lighting, which turns the recycled materials into sustainable expressions of art.
Floor plan. Image © Nax Architects
Project name: Cosmetea Store
Project location: Yuyuan Road, Shanghai, China
Area: 75 Square Meters
Completion time: 2019
Design firm: Nax Architects
Design team: Lina Chan, Yiting Ma, Jo Jiao
Client: SHANGHAI CHICMAX COSMETICS CO., LTD
All images © Raitt Liu
> via Nax Architects