Techsize Flagship Store, Jiangsu
By : Jaco Pan, MINGGU Design
GRANDS PRIX DU DESIGN – 16th edition
Discipline : Interior Design
Categories : Commercial Space / Commercial Space > 5,400 sq.ft. (> 500 sq.m.) : Silver Certification
The flagship store of the Spanish slab brand Techsize is located in a street park of Nanjing where the unique and generous architectural silhouette can be seen vaguely through the woods.
Through the design of the building façade and interior space, client hopes to show the brand’s ultimate pursuit of living aesthetics, highlighting the brand’s philosophy of “creating a living space of your dream”, and further demonstrating how the stone, a non-renewable natural element, has been made to realize sustainability and perfectly integrate man with nature and aesthetics.
The process of forming rock slabs is grinding and extracting the natural raw stone, then undergoing special processes such as pressing and high temperature, and eventually nirvana. The designer draws inspiration from this process, and through abstraction, transforms the original stone that has undergone the baptism of time into an expression of the characteristic of space.
The façade is predominantly clad in slabs. At the entrance, a slender colonnade supports the magnificent wide eaves, while the large glass wall on the south and east elevations greatly mitigates the heavy massing of the dark slabs.
Dark grey slabs are the main composition of the first-floor façade, interspersed with a number of horizontally layered slabs, which are set in an orderly way, as if to tell the story of the formation of slab. The clashes of ‘line and surface’, ‘light and heavy’, ‘transparent and dense’, bring a balance to the façade hidden underneath the conflict, which is extremely dramatic.
The cascading slabs extend from the façade into the interior and become one of the main elements throughout the showroom. It can be a backdrop for a large electronic screen, a screen, a partition, a decoration, or the product itself.
A heavy black spiral staircase leads up into a dome. When someone emerges through a semi-circular hole, then he can see the dome in its entirety, sheets of rounded-corner square slabs, about 6 mm thick, are layered on the surface of the dome in a certain colour pattern, resembling the smoothly layered feathers of a bird, hence the name ‘feather wall’.
The feather wall not only serves as a space divider, but also as a product display wall where customers can see the different colours and textures of the products directly.
In terms of functional division, the designers have adopted a multi-group spatial layout to combine display, experience, communication and work. The ground floor of the showroom is mainly divided into a display area, an open working area and a meeting area with a bar, mainly for the occasional customer events and design sharing sessions.
Moving inwards along the glass façade, you can see a ‘square box’, which is the beginning of a revolving staircase. The black stones on the floor, the waterscape behind the cut-outs on the walls, and the huge slabs suspended above, all combine nature in the square box.
The designers have also created two open working areas outside the square box.
The first floor is divided by ‘feather wall’, the interior containing a conference room and a more secluded office. The exterior is a product display area, showing the different uses of slabs in different spaces.