What comes to your mind when you think of a retail store experience? An attractive storefront? Plush lights? This is how stores are designed. Isn’t it? But collaboration between AntiStatics Architecture and renowned artist Yue Min Jun breaks this stereotype. How? By formulating an immersive retail experience through the I Do Artist Store, Wuhan in, China. The design amalgamates the spatial and sculptural elements with the backdrop of a monochromatic, plush parametric, free-flowing space. Thus, creating an expressive, embracing, and inspiring ambiance.
A tall metal elephant structure forms the highlight of this space. This sculpture forms a part of the exterior facade and creates a visual vista in the interiors. Moreover, this massive elephant sculpture envelopes the whole space around it. This holds symbolic importance in Chinese and Asian culture. This massive elephant represents “a peaceful world and mature grain in society. Thus, adding visual depth and character to this fluid space leaves the visitors in awe. Furthermore, the fluid, free-flowing, wave-like undulations on the interior facade are metaphoric of huge geological formations in the cave. The whole enclosure, therefore, showcases a perfect synergy between art, materials, and spatial design ideology.
Yue Min Jun’s signature figures, intimately resting on one another, add to the aesthetics. The symbolic 9m high steel sculpture of the life-size elephant rises from the lower level to the second floor. The atrium is carved out through void spaces. Through these atriums, the sculptures pierce the volume giving a grand feeling. Hence, this play of sculpture, fluid elements, shaw, lighting, and transition between levels create a proactive visitor experience.
Aesthetics & Technology
Symbolically, the sculptures in the design intend to instill abstract values like wisdom, strength, and unity into the user’s interaction with the space. Technology and innovation take center stage here. This is evident through the parametric interiors of large-scale wax 3d printing and investment casting. The core inspiration of the design here is biomimicry. This is evident in the design of the structural members. The form of these members is inspired by cellular biology and the atomic structures of the diamond. Thus, the space takes the users on a sensory and artistic ride through this store experience design.
Moreover, the interior enclosure is designed to be light and airy with fluid ribbons, developed through robotic milled formwork. Thus, creating a wrap effect, inducing a warm and embracing feeling to visitors.
The idea of earth erosion inspires geological formations, thus creating an organically fluid visual fabric. This combination of art, technology, and retail, sets an interesting streetscape, thus enticing the observer to explore this space crafted with detail and precision. While the design sets a pathbreaking identity through the sculpture emerging in grandeur amidst the floor plate, the twisting staircase, the ambient lighting, and the signature sculptures evoke an artistic emotion.
In a Nutshell
This combination of art, technology, and retail, sets an interesting streetscape, thus enticing the observer to explore this space crafted with detail and precision. While the design sets a pathbreaking identity through the sculpture emerging in grandeur amidst the floor plate, the twisting staircase, the ambient lighting, and the signature sculptures evoke an artistic emotion. The art, facade, interiors, materials, and technology have showcased a new potential to the world and set an example of how cross-pollinated ideation and multi-disciplinary collaboration can give rise to architectural wonders like these.
Architects: AntiStatics Architecture
Location: Wuhan, China
Category: Art Store
Area: 250 m²
Design Team: Yasser Hafizs, Theodorius E. D. Santoso, Christopher Beckett, Annie Liu, Demi Chang, Arthur Yang, Frank Feng
Artist: Minjun Yue
Installation Art: Hangzhou dikesheng culture and Art Co. Ltd+ Wenzhou zaomeng Technology Co. Ltd
Photography: Dachou Photography