in the park
Shanghai, China, 2021
Interiors are not simply staged scenes behind closed doors. At AIM, we believe a good interior can be a catalyst for change. It is rooting itself in the urban fabric, creating life and influencing city culture.
In the PARK Yanping Road presents this integration of life, local character, and street culture, blurring indoor and outdoor boundaries. Unlike the current trend of centralizing social life around The CBD, the PARK Mall, hidden within a bustling Jing’an city block, brings a new form of mini department store.
The brand seeks its products broadly, without pretense. It calls to mind a modern-day Wunderkammer, where various objects and artifacts are stored, admired, and celebrated for their eclectic-ness and rarity.
Initially not connected, the main space has three floors, high ceilings, and a forest of columns. We were strongly inspired by traditional Chinese parks, where winding paths lead the visitor to secluded areas. The result is a voluptuous staircase and walkway that claims the space and spills out to a suspended pond midheight.
The materials and furniture speak to the relationship between nature and industry. They also help highlight another important purpose—Play.
The space is full of unexpected charm. Standard park objects become transformed in the interior. Fiberglass, a material more commonly used for slides and park playthings, is used for the staircase. Rubber lining, asphalt-like flooring, and other traditional outdoor materials find new purpose indoors. Circular park seating is turned into shelves around the tree-like columns.
The honeycomb aluminum board is light but strong; on the surface, overlay wood veneer and marble add the feeling of nature and industry.
The dressing room design comes from Dutch public street furniture. Like the other furniture, it represents street objects. All things placed together result in an intriguing, contemporary sense of life—an inversion of the outdoors indoor. Likewise, the clothes drying poles, street signs, fitting rooms, and bamboo chairs outside the store all resemble the timelessness of Shanghai street life.
Many interior spaces try to convey a sense of distance, whereas PARK is a non-serious expression. The PARK design reimagines and recreates ordinary items and ideas. It is a stage for life, blending into the streets and truly integrates the local community and neighbourhoods.
Designer: AIM Archtecture
Location: Shanghai, China
GFA: 350 sqm
Design Scope: Interior design, entrance landscape design
Design Principals: Wendy Saunders, Vincent de Graaf
Project Manager: Cindy Xu
Project Architect: Shirley Woo
Interior Team: Steve Do, Noel Wu, Ewa Szajda, Yuan Chen, Emilio Wang, Jiao Yan
FFE Team: Lili Cheng
Photography: Wen Studio
Illustration: Lam Nong