Located along a narrow alley next to the Presidential Palace, a cultural heritage and popular tourist destination in Nanjing, the new Shiwu branch store is provided a context that is not to the advantage of its own character. While the surroundings embrace loud crowds, cheap souvenirs and fast food, Shiwu primarily features carefully crafted products that are mostly handmade by Japanese craftsmen.






Maximizing the flexibility of rearrangement through a single intervention, we tested early on the idea of inserting partitions cladded with expanded mesh. We carefully selected a custom aperture dimension, which best fit commonly available standardized hangers, so that there could be no limit in terms of where the objects or shelves could be fixed. In the spirit of Kengo Kuma’s material experimentation, we went on to look for a fitting twist to the harshness of metal mesh. After going through many surveys and experiments, we discovered an ancient Chinses formula of paper pulp, which is very fiber rich and adhesive. Before execution on site, we tested to control the level of transparency of pulp web in our studio. We then dipped and dried 20 sheets of metal mesh on the construction site by ourselves.



The appearance of these pulp webs is constantly oscillating, due to the unevenness of pulp attachment to the metal meshes. Depending on where the viewer is standing, these webs will look rigid or soft, blurred or transparent, closed or open. They are initiated for the functional flexibility of rearrangement, but perform aesthetic values, giving the space its most unique character.

巾 Textile



店内最主要的产品之一是日本布衣家须藤玲子的布料作品(须藤玲子是日本著名的布料大师,作品在 上世纪90 年代已被 纽约MOMA 收藏)。委托人与玲子私交甚好,提出空间用作玲子作品展览的营运需求。 出于对玲子布艺表现力的尊重,我们将其大型布品整合在空间设计中,布品可灵活悬挂在OSB板制成的1.4m x 1.4m网格矩阵下,使其成为划分空间的软隔断。商品成为隔断,隔断也成为商品。满铺的网格矩阵内均藏有不锈钢吊杆,当举办玲子布品的集中展览时,便于布料的灵活挂装。

Alternative to the everyday operation, the owner also intends to hold occasional exhibitions for Japanese artist Reiko Sudo’s textile works. We use a 1.4 x 1.4m lattice grid of OSB strips to realize the hanging of larges pieces of Sudo’s fabrics that could also perform as soft partitions of the space.



The upper side of the lattice grid contains LED strips illuminating upwards onto a reflective ceiling that is made out of 1mm galvanized steel sheet. This system provides evenly distributed brightness flooding over the floor, improving visual comfort and diffusing unpleasant shadows.






We decided early on to focus on the introverted spatial quality of the store. It welcomes the visitors to come inside, but examines their curiosities through a solid wooden door. The gesture of pulling distinguishes the shop from its touristic neighbors, and reveals its internal quiet and relaxed atmosphere in an unanticipated manner. For enriching the visitors’ shopping experience, we endeavored to increase their circulations and turns with a 45-degree angled layout. Circling around at wish, they may pick up pottery objects at the entry, or try on clothes at the elevated, more private zone. They may as well sit down at an angled corner and enjoy a cup of tea.



While retail design is now often seen to focus on superficial cyber popularity, imposing exaggerated visual elements, our effort in Shiwu is to rediscover the quality and potential in craftsmanship, encouraging tactile sensation, lingering, and looking around.







项目设计 & 完成年份:2019




摄影版权:Dirk Weiblen



Project information——

Project name:Shiwu Store


Design year & Completion Year:2019

Leader designer & Team:Wenxin Huang、Shengze Chen、Xueli Chen

Project location:Presidential Palace, Nanjing

Gross Built Area:80sqm

Photo credits:Dirk Weiblen

Contractor:Chengxi Lin、Jiachao Cheng

Custom made material:Expanded mesh、Paper pulp、Pine wood composite board