Aimé Pâtisserie, designed by Lukstudio, is a brand new to Shanghai, and this branch is located in the high-end shopping area of Huai Hai Road, which is already home to a number of coffee shop franchises, and luxury goods shops.
The design challenge for Lukstudio was to create a store that would stand out from the established brands in this busy area, and appeal to the upmarket clientèle of the locality. The designers chose to represent the store as a white present, or gift box. The concept of unwrapping the layers of a present is brought into play.
Lukstudio say, “The unwrapping experience of the Aimé gift box is translated into the physical store. The idea of layering appears when we lift one semicircular translucent paper after another to discover the colourful macaroons within. This opening sequence gives form to the overhead storefront design, while the window display made of four translucent layers attracts passers-by to explore inside the store.”
The store has an L-shaped interior, divided into two zones – the foyer, including a seating area; and the display area at the rear. The designers explain the layout and experience for the customer: “With a lower ceiling, the former compresses views of the latter, yet frames the illuminated feature wall to capture curious minds. Every step forward heightens the discovery of the playful interior, where the 9m long counter showcases macaroons and other goodies in perfect order.”
An illuminated feature wall comprises stacked gift boxes, at varying stages of being opened, and the whimsical pattern is continued up to the ceiling. Lukstudio used a modular and therefore versatile design for display and storage space, which also allows for ceiling openings for spotlights, speakers, and security devices.
Whilst Lukstudio have used a neutral palette in the majority of the space to evoke the ambience and feeling of a gallery, they have included a branding wall created with a more artistic approach: here, aluminium bands are twirled and bent to cast calligraphic shadows around the store.
Images © Peter Dixie for LOTAN Architectural Photography