Chinese architecture and design practice AD ARCHITECTURE has designed an abalone showroom playing with irregular floating blocks and golden hues to create perceptible visual tension and emotions.
Named Baoman Abalone Showroom, the 300-square-metre showroom is located in Shantou, Guangdong, China and aims to combine art and commerce in a new spatial organization.
“As a medium for brand presentation, commercial space often requires systematic scenario design in accordance with products’ attributes, while presenting distinctive aesthetics with perceptible visual tension and emotions, so as to create a deep connection with consumers,” said AD ARCHITECTURE.
According to the studio, the starting point of the project’s design is to unfold narratives based on “the charm of the ingredients”.
With rich experience in designing upscale restaurants and art exhibition spaces, the studio approached the project in an unconventional way, to create fresh experiences in the space.
“This is a ‘product’ that falls between commerce and “self”, and I was immersed in the fun of exploration from the design process to the outcome,” said Xie Peihe, founder of the studio.
“The design needed to break away from the mode of traditional dry seafood shop to create a brand new sensory experience, while echoing the established attributes of the space and conveying the brand’s image.”
“It is this ambiguity that inspired the design thinking: it is a mass scene of the ‘self’,” the studio added.
Shantou, a coastal city in the heart of Guangdong Province, is endowed with natural resources that cultivate plentiful aquatic products, providing abundant ingredients for the self-contained cuisine of Chaoshan region.
The client, an expert in abalone farming, grew up in a family making a living from the sea. He is committed to environmental protection and the research and development of abalone farming.
The King Abalone he breeds brings a major innovation to the industry. The client has established a new brand “Baoman”. This project is his private showroom of dried abalone, located in the heart of the city.
The studio describes the approach as “spatial strength” since irregular geometric blocks of varying forms create an impactful visual effect in the small-scale space.
The main function of the first floor space is for product display, with the structures emphasizing a sense of strength. The various areas are seemingly separate, yet interconnected to offer a holistic sensory experience. The free form of structures gives the space a sense of conflict and harmony.
The project fosters uniqueness and interdependence, according to the studio. Objects shape the space and its spirit by the action of light. Light and objects are interdependent.
The designers resorted to light to better outline the form of the space to subtly impact its mood, and thus to create a sense of self-consistent presence rather than being an independent system, let alone an abrupt opposition.
Light interacts with the forms in the space in a functional and behavioral way, generating new spatial moods. This is a process in which all elements are distinct from yet dependent on each other.
The same is true of human relationships, which are all about balance. Whether being retracted or relaxed, radical or conservative, directing towards the future or being relevant to the present, all signs point to this world without borders.
What the designers wanted to convey is a ‘private’ individuality within a universal concept.
The interiors create “sense of heaviness”
Walls clad in stone-texture paint contrast with the metal materials, injecting a sense of luxury into the comfortable space. Soft light accentuates the sense of weight in the space. The “floating” blocks strike a balance between heaviness and lightness, adding fun to the space.
The process of designing a commercial space is to think about the future trends of the market, and the designers need to imagine how to transcend established boundaries. In this project, the design team tried to break through the conventional image of seafood.
Through the integration of natural light and material textures, the design is intended to stimulate “accidental” behaviors and bring people closer to the space, to endow the space with the power of cohesion.
The original, innovation design is an exploration of spatial status, rather than a directional future.
First floor plan
Second floor plan
AD ARCHITECTURE completed Future Artspace H commercial art and management consulting by playing with abstract geometries in Shantou, Guangdong, China.
The firm created interiors with curved walls, layering surfaces and extreme dark tones for a restaurant in Nanchong, China.
The studio won the WA Awards in the 40th Cycle with three projects in the Interior Design/Realised category: Taste Of Dadong · Rhapsody, Shanghai, Chasing Light and Da Dong Gastro Esthetics.
AD ARCHITECTURE is a Professional Member of World Architecture Community.
Project name: Baoman Abalone Showroom
Design firm: AD ARCHITECTURE
Chief designer: Xie Peihe
Design team: AD ARCHITECTURE
Location: Shantou, Guangdong
Main materials: stone, wooden flooring, handmade paint, wooden veneer
Start time: February 2022
Completion time: August 2022
All images © Ouyang Yun.
All drawings © AD ARCHITECTURE.
> via AD ARCHITECTURE