109Things is located in Mochou Road, Qinhuai District, Nanjing City, at the southeast gate of Yuejie Magic City, opposite Chaotian Palace. Mochou Road is a one-way road. On its west are hardware fitting and electromechanical stores, but now several business forms have appeared. The name of 109Things is produced after a detailed and face-to-face discussion with the client. It is a commercial retail store mainly with imported snacks, stockings and color makeup products, reflecting an interesting combination.
It is located on the street. The original internal steel structure interlayer remains. The heights of spaces above and beneath the interlayer are within the reach of a person’s arm. The total space includes a three-section stepped space and a throughout passage. The most impressive items are two square windows of different sizes on both walls in the three-section space. A man can look through these two windows and view the entire space obliquely. With a conservative method to create this place, an internal order will be built based on three types of products.
Height – two 2m spaces
At the entrance, the atrium is 4m high and the spaces above and beneath the interlayer are 2m high. A one-piece square flexible film is adopted for the ceiling at the top of the atrium, to make it seem higher and extend upward. The uniform and soft light covers the lower display area. Going inside, visitors can see a throughout and flexible film ceiling that provides the main lighting at the passage. The mild regional lighting ensures the soft visual experience of guests for the spatial streamline, weakening the sense of repression due to the limited layer height. Local square and rectangular openings are made in the interlayer to connect the upper and lower space. The exposed steel structure also reveals its past.
Materials and connection
Particleboards, galvanized boards and water-washed stone are used as the material language in the space design. The display areas of the three types of products are isolated and connected by materials at the same time. A window is added at the entrance. Visitors looking through the three-layer window to view the interior can only see local areas and find three “boxes” inside connected by a string. All cabinets, racks, boards, boxes and other containers inside are subject to the base material of particleboards. The granular segments on the surface of particleboards and the snow-flake-shaped patterns on the surface of galvanized boards add the stereoscopy of the space. The floor made of water-washed stone leaves a natural and plain impression as well. The water-washed stone covers all internal floor areas, blurring the boundary.
Partial walls and display cabinets are subject to tin foils that are rubbed and folded. Galvanized boards and tin foils feature a diffuse reflection property to a varying extent, resulting in the abstract sense of reflective textile of products. The manually folded tin foils, machined galvanized boards and the particleboards create a change in rhythm for the façade.
Restraining and acceptance
Space design is restrained and all display patterns are for the purpose of products. With a limited budget, the space update is completed with cheap and easy-to-process materials. However, the spatial representation tends to be pure but rich. The opened folding window and the one-piece glass door at the entrance blur the indoor-outdoor boundary. On sunny days, the space is exposed to sunshine but the sycamore trees on the roadside result in shadows on the façade. Sunshine also may be cast into the space via windows, showing the interaction between the space and nature. The materials adopted feature natural and rich textiles and are equipped with defects as well. However, all efforts have been made to perfect the space design of 109Things as expected. The defects in details may make us feel sorry, but we need to accept such defects.