Shang Xia Beijing Store by
Kengo Kuma and Associates

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A lattice of extruded aluminium sections evokes images of the brickwork in Beijing's old neighbourhoods at this luxury boutique by Kengo Kuma and Associates (+ slideshow).

Shang Xia Beijing Store by Kengo Kuma and Associates

Three different H-shaped sections and two sizes of I-shaped section have been built up in layers to divide the space into a series of linked rooms.

Shang Xia Beijing Store by Kengo Kuma and Associates

The edges of the partitions are staggered so that openings between each area are softened and the profiles can be seen more clearly.

Shang Xia Beijing Store by Kengo Kuma and Associates

The sections also decorate the ceiling at the front of the shop, but are replaced by black mirrored glass in some of the sections further back.

Shang Xia Beijing Store by Kengo Kuma and Associates

Bricks made from compressed tea leaves line the walls at the back of the store, creating a darker, more intimate area where visitors are served tea while they browse.

Shang Xia Beijing Store by Kengo Kuma and Associates

Garments and gifts are displayed on shelves set into the fretwork and on podiums placed within the smaller pockets of space.

Shang Xia Beijing Store by Kengo Kuma and Associates

More expensive objects are kept in recessed niches, fronted by glass and lit from above like museum vitrines.

Shang Xia Beijing Store by Kengo Kuma and Associates

Booths allow customers to sit with sales advisors and try jewellery and other small items in relative privacy.

Shang Xia Beijing Store by Kengo Kuma and Associates

The store is located in a shopping centre in the central business district in the north east of Beijing.

Shang Xia Beijing Store by Kengo Kuma and Associates

Kengo Kuma's studio also designed Shang Xia's inaugural store in Shanghai.

Shang Xia Beijing Store by Kengo Kuma and Associates

Dezeen visited Shang Xia during this year's Beijing Design Week, where we also saw an installation made from ceramic yoghurt pots and screens inspired by traditional Chinese motifs.

Shang Xia Beijing Store by Kengo Kuma and Associates

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A few more details from the designers can be found below:


In this shop, extruded aluminum is used as the main material to form the space. The aluminum consists of three H-shaped types (H: 60mm, H: 90mm, H: 135mm) and two I-shaped types (L: 100mm, L: 200mm).

Shang Xia Beijing Store by Kengo Kuma and Associates

At the upper and the bottom part of the space where the load is concentrated, the shorter type (H: 60mm) of aluminum is densely applied.

Shang Xia Beijing Store by Kengo Kuma and Associates

To the contrary, the higher type (H135mm) of parts is used largely in the middle, as the load is less, so the screen could be light.

Shang Xia Beijing Store by Kengo Kuma and Associates

Thus, feature of this design is virtually the result of the structural demand, but the mechanics naturally generated a gradually-changing transparency from the material.

Shang Xia Beijing Store by Kengo Kuma and Associates

The layer of the aluminum screens makes you feel being placed in a mysterious cloud.

Shang Xia Beijing Store by Kengo Kuma and Associates

Project Name: Shang Xia Beijing Store
B1 China World Mall, China World Trade Center, No.1 Jian Guo Men Wai Avenue, Beijing
Type of Construction: interior
Main Use: shop
Design and Supervision: Kengo Kuma & Associates
Number of Floors: two in the basement
Total floor area: 152㎡
Design Period: January 2012 – May 2012
Construction: June 2012 – August 2012

  • Tommy

    It looks sloppy and – dare I say – cheap. Not that it is, because I’m sure they spent loads on this. Oh well.

  • noddy

    One long-forgotten word: gimmicks.

  • kolobok

    Kengo was on vacation, so he asked his parrot to create something for the client.

  • Jason

    I wonder what will happen when, in the midst of rushing to the fitting room, you accidently brush your beautiful face against the sharp edges of the aluminium grilles all around you?

  • noyz

    I wonder who is going to clean dust from those aluminium lattices. It’s over-designed with too many materials and the wrong furniture. It’s pointless.

  • Manuel

    Dangerous!

  • http://spacedesignstudios.com/ Space Design Studios

    Great idea! These structures are a good way to divide the space into different areas.

  • http://nationalfurnituresupply.com/brands/sunpan-imports.html Ben@Sunpan Imports

    Tactic! These sort of structures really are a sensible way to portion the place into assorted parts.