Various Associates: Runner-Up of World Design Awards 2021. The project is a fashion boutique store located in Sanya, China. Inspired by the local surfing culture, the project adopts “waves” as the design concept.
The long accessories display stand that spans more than 15 meters and the waves-themed structures separate the space into several display zones smoothly. Combining both openness and privacy, those areas can accommodate different customers and enable them to enjoy shopping in a comfortable environment. The entrance area consists of a front desk and an area for clothes packaging, so that customers can be provided with timely services as entering and leaving the store.
With layered spatial structures and consideration of functional demands, a distinctive circulation route is formed. The pure, clean spatial blocks and the structures’ staggered heights create a unique experience for customers as if they’re travelling through surging waves, and meanwhile block the dazzling daylight to enhance garments display. The walls are inclined to different degrees to form various fun enclosed areas. The lofty structures effectively block the strong daylight, and ensure visual comfort. The functional “waves” at different heights, the circulation loop that runs through “waves”, and the interaction among products, all add fun and enhance experiences in the pure, pleasant space.
The suspended ceiling is a combination of light membrane and bespoke ultra-thin metal grille, producing soft, bright and even lighting effects. The elaborately-designed lighting effects make the space more bright and comfortable, and highlight the spatial layers as well. The customized metal grid draws on wave elements, and “the sense of space” between its components enriches the visual experience. The suspended clothes racks are integrated with a hidden lighting system, and the mirrors can be randomly hung on appropriate positions.
Purity, comfort and brightness are key motifs of the design. The design team hoped to convey the relaxing feeling of the city in the space. “When playing in waves, you may find treasures under the sea. Many people may wash them and bring them back to home, and these turn into souvenirs of the journey, ” said Various Associates co-founder Q Lin. “This resonates with the design concept of this boutique. Many ‘treasures’ are waiting to be discovered in the ‘huge waves’. I hope you’ll find and buy your favorites in the spatial journey.”
In this space, everything is expected to be ‘lightweight’, so that customers can only feel the space, garments and themselves when moving in it. Through waves-themed design, the design team hoped to convey the ideas of comfort, relaxation, freedom, purity and attention to inner self.
World Design Awards Category
Commercial Interior Built
Project leader: Q Lin, Dongzi Yang; Design team: Bo Huang, Zebing Lee, Meiyu Jiang
Various Associates is an architecture and interior design practice working regionally and internationally on research-based design projects.VA was founded in 2017 as a team of designers from an international background with professional expertise in architecture, interior design, material design, graphic and interaction design. The studio is developing ambitious high-end projects including boutique hotels, restaurants, retail spaces, workspaces and galleries. VA focuses on enhancing spaces and developing material details to give unique visual expressions to each project. VA also gives artists and designers a platform to collaborate and reimagine new ways to be creative and break down barriers between the arts.