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Capturing the vibrancy of Shanghai’s Xintiandi area, LOOKNOW’s latest flagship store by Sò Studio invites customers into the creative process through a menagerie of art, objects and texture. Simulating an artist’s studio space and residence, the 240-square-metre interior takes us on a visual escapade through an imagined creative abode.

Located in the heart of the city, Xin Tian Di seamlessly blends colonial-era Shikumen housing with the contemporary architecture of the modern megacity. In keeping with this tradition, the designers retained some original fixtures alongside the new. Historical traces — antique doors kept from the old house and random rocks picked from the quarry — serve both aesthetic and functional purposes, as the design becomes a continuation of Shanghai’s urban history.

 

Related: PEU à PEU Sports Store in Hangzhou, China by Sò Studio.

 

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With flexibility in mind, Sò Studio organised the store into three distinct areas — exhibition, major display and accessories. Defined by a butter hued framing, the exhibition area is a striking focal point. A place for pop-ups, shows and installations, it also acts as a transitional piece delineating each of the corresponding zones.

Exposed brick walls and structural steel were kept as other features were repurposed; abandoned pipes were rearranged into racks for handbags and blue paint was applied unevenly, adding to the current peeling appearance. The designers looked at balancing these existing industrial elements with sculptural forms, colourful accents and surprising finishes.

 

Related: Back to Nature: Restaurant Lunar in Shanghai by Sò Studio.

 

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The biggest structure in the store may be the most surprising. Located in the centre of the display area the fitting room is draped in fabric softening the hard angles. As circulation flows on all sides plush boyfriend chairs in primary red and blue sit alongside — perfect for lounging.

In the accessories area, abnormal and exaggerated cabinets dwarf the volume. A standing lamp that looks like a launchpad, mottled cabinetry and a custom carpet add cool flourishes to LOOKNOW’’s “it” store cred. Enclosed between walls a living room immerses customers further into the world of the artist. With a sofa, carpet, clothes racks and wood the intimate room feels comfortably lived in.

This magical melange of spaces and objects blur the boundaries between the real and imagined as Sò Studio rewrites used materials into LOOKNOW’s contemporary narrative.

 

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