The new oriental original aromatherapy brand “ToSummer” announces its first off-line flagship store, the “ToSummer living room”, located on the ground floor of Taikoo Li North District, Sanli-tun, Beijing. With its inviting combination of streamline and curved surfaces, the design trans-forms the 170m? space while leading visitors to naturally follow a circular flow. With the extensive use of mirror effects combined with continued light, naturalistic materials and colors to enhance the ambience of the space, visitors stop and linger to savor the experience. This is exactly the “living room” atmosphere that the owners sought to create – to inspire an emotional feeling be-tween domestic and social, communication and comfort.
Through spatial language, material texture and detailed narration, the project also sets up several groups of apparent “opposites”： warmth and calmness, coarseness and delicacy, hardness and softness, control and intuition, natural and artificial. Through the spatial design, these “oppo-sites” forms smooth “dialogues”.
As the exclusive space of this aromatherapy brand, “ToSummer living room” in Sanlitun, Beijing, expresses the brand identity through the characteristics of “amorphous” and “freedom” utilizing visual and tactile feelings to trigger and extend visitors’ imagination through olfactory perception.
入穴寻香 Searching for fragrance
The brand’s concrete requirement for this space design was a “Modern Cave”. The designer chose not to directly create the natural appearance of caves but, instead, presents the characteristic elements of material textures to inspire the sensory experience. It transforms the original cave concept into spatial language, integrating it into this realistic space full of modern Oriental feeling to present a delicate balance between commercial and art, domestic and public realm, natural and artificial.
In contrast to the straightforward window and entryway of standard commercial storefronts, this experience space offers a facade of coarse gray-toned imitation-stone. The floor at the entrance is raises and retreats while the lighting within is soft and subdued, forming a significant alternative to the noisy, fast and bright shopping mall spatial experience.
The irregular-appearing interior space has been intricately designed and adjusted. It is naturally divided by a “metal screen” at the entrance and along a central island into the “living room” experience area in the front, the exhibition and retail area in the middle, an independent art installation space, and the cashier area at the back.
In their midst, the mirrored metal screen at the entrance echoes the curved wall and streamlined mirror so that the “living room” is naturally divided into several small interconnected blocks which perform their own functions. The designer incorporated flexibility to spaces, enlarging the adapt-ability to different exhibition forms.
展陈区域由货架与中央岛台构合而成，仅 25 m²，但设计为空间带来的高效性也正在此体现–金属岛台、货架与曲面墙体的直接“互文”集中将产品如艺术品般呈现出来，达到了品牌记忆度的“重击”。
While the exhibition area is composed of shelves and a central island platform comprising a mere 25 m?, it reflects the efficiency with which space was designed. The direct “intertextuality” of the metal island platform, shelves and the curved wall presents the products like works of art, achieving a powerful imprint of the brand.
The whole indoor traffic line is connected through a U-shaped channel. When entering, the visi-tors !“ flow is naturally streamlined through the spatial design, decoration and mirror reflected scenery, forming a positive and negative effect like a camera lens, however, the space offers viewers a sense of security.
嗅觉客厅 Aroma “living room”
As the exclusive space of an aromatherapy brand, its exploration into using vision to mobilize the sense of smell is one of the key points of the design. “amorphous” and “freedom” become the two breakthrough points for designers to develop Synaesthesia, which involves mingling the five senses, such as causing visual elements to evoke a smell sensation. It is as if the scent be-comes visible and palpable through use of free and flowing characteristics.
The design vocabulary of “amorphous” is mainly reflected in the use of streamlined and curved surfaces. This dynamic sense and mobility of visual effect, on the one hand, infuses vitality into the pure underground indoor space, while on the other hand, it also embodies the spatial state of “cave”, adding an ambiguous sensation of space between “obvious” and “hidden”.
“Freedom” is the main feature within the “living room”. The designer was inspired when he se-lected British artist Max Lamb!s collectable furniture, so he was invited to design exclusive pieces for this space. Through the traditional elements of the living room, such as sofa, chair and coffee table, the designer freely formed a flexible “living room” space. Meanwhile, they adopted new materials such as high-density foam, fiberglass, metal and concrete to create a state of fur-niture that is “primitive” and “unfinished”, achieving a harmonious coexistence of “natural and fabricated in a prudent manner.
In terms of colors, in addition to the calm temperament of mirrored metal, the solid-color white tone wall base gives the whole space a pure and soft background and, through the interaction of light, shadow and mirror image, it forms a “broad” open space feeling. The rough imitation-stone material and diatom mud with full texture together with mirrored metal once again play the theme of “natural and fabricated”.
In terms of lighting design, the designer displays a soothing and high-level spatial atmosphere with focus and theme through spotlights, mirror lights, light belts and other forms.
Combined with the reflection of light by mirror and metal materials, the designer uses halo and shadow to reproduce several sets of “dialogues”. Together with the fragrances in the space, it enables people to open their bodily senses and more intimately perceive smell, light and time…
气味艺廊 Aroma Gallery
Beyond the concepts of natural and fabricated, another vital proposition that the design team constantly establishes and solves is the balance between commercial and art spaces. The de-sign attracts customers into the space through implicitly penetrating the interfaces. This kind of exploratory space draws inspiration from museums, art installations and other cultural buildings.
And here, it is intended to enhance the artistic connotation of this commercial space, not only to make the space itself have an artistic temperament, but also to allow the fragrance products displayed to be enjoyed and gazed upon like “works of art”.
Each of the smaller interconnected segments of the space comprises a different “scene”. Through the use of mirrors, these various scenes reflected in these mirrors also constitute an interesting level of “play-within-a-play”, making everyone become elements in each other’s scenery.
定制家具及装置设计：DEFRONT X F.O.G.
Design Principle：Zheng Yu, Zhan Di, Hou Shaokai
Design Team：Zhou Chuyang，Xiong Aijie，Vince Choi，Fu Shidi
Lighting Design：School of Architecture, Tsinghua University and One Lighting Associates (Beijing)
Furniture and Installation Design：DEFRONT X F.O.G.
Construction Drawing：SU PIN
Construction Team：Youlong Jinsheng Decoration Ltd.