In the heart of Wukang Road, amidst the vibrant cityscape, stands a heritage garden house from the 1930s. Wrapped in the embrace of nature and entwined with the bustling streets, this historic gem has been transformed into the flagship store for the emerging fashion brand XiaoZhuo. The store’s clean-cut brand personality celebrates creativity, curiosity, and a playful spirit, reflecting the essence of the brand itself. It’s not just a place to explore XiaoZhuo’s fashion but a space where visitors can subtly immerse themselves in the brand’s guiding ethos of relaxation and inspiration.
XiaoZhuo Flagship Store Technical Information
- Architects: Offhand Practice
- Location: Wukang Road, Shanghai, China
- Area: 760 m2
- Completion Year: 2021
- Photographs: © Hu Yanyun
The design challenges are not only on the physical level – how to dissolve the boundary between the surroundings and the entire site, how to create a linkage between two outdoor yards and the main building, and how to maximize the ample natural light in the space – they are also on the spiritual level – to reveal the abstract brand characteristic and philosophy in this physical space.
– Offhand Practice
XiaoZhuo Flagship Store Photographs
A Harmonious Blend of Heritage and Modernity
Spanning a sizable gross floor area, the store comprises two outdoor yards and a five-story building nestled in between. The internal space is relatively compact and fragmented, yet it benefits from numerous windows of various sizes that connect the lush greenery outside with the play of light and shadows within.
The design challenge transcended the physical realm, seeking to dissolve boundaries between the surroundings and the site, create a seamless link between the outdoor spaces and the main building, and maximize natural light. Equally significant was the endeavor to manifest the abstract brand characteristics and philosophy within this physical space.
The entrance, though somewhat discreet, is strategically located, adjacent to the winding Wukang Road. Drawing inspiration from the environment, the circulation and accessibility of the building were reimagined. A winding path was introduced, leading from the entrance to the rear yard and extending vertically through all five stories, connecting the various parts of the store.
The blurred boundaries achieved through this path prompted a reconfiguration of each floor’s function and the creation of void spaces, allowing natural light to permeate from higher levels to lower ones. Throughout the day, the interplay of light and shadow imparts a sense of fluidity.
This green path, an extension of Wukang Road, subtly invites visitors indoors. Starting with an immersive window display on the first floor, visitors can leisurely explore the backyard or ascend to the clothing merchandise area on the upper floors. Linen wool carpets on the walls provide an elegant backdrop for the clothes.
The fourth floor serves as a space for storytelling about “Who is XiaoZhuo.” Movable carpet blocks offer flexibility for future exhibitions. This green path leads visitors from the outdoor realm to the indoor oasis, culminating at the water bar on the fifth floor. Following the original route, the journey through XiaoZhuo’s world is complete.
The design language elegantly juxtaposes textured concrete with curved shapes in the green path and warm, inviting linen wool carpets in the clothing merchandise area. The interplay of rigidity and softness, coldness and warmth, creates a harmonious coexistence within this space. As time unfolds, the story of XiaoZhuo continues to evolve, enriching this captivating space.
XiaoZhuo Flagship Store Plans
XiaoZhuo Flagship Store Image Gallery
About Offhand Practice
OFFHAND PRACTICE, established in 2018 by partners Yuan Yuan and Nie Xuan in Shanghai, China, is an interior architecture design firm known for its versatile portfolio encompassing various project types and scales, including bookstores, multi-brand boutiques, art galleries, pop-up stores, and residences. The practice’s philosophy centers on problem-solving rather than imposing rigid design concepts. They prioritize understanding the intricate connection between space and people, viewing space as an energetic field for interaction and seeking to unlock its inherent potential. This exploration of the interplay between space and human dynamics is a central focus of their design practice, defining their unique approach to interior architecture.
- Article via Bowerbird