The vibe of fashion brand HEIKE'S new Concept Store in Hangzhou, China is what we’d imagine it’s like to be inside an airplane’s little black box. But a super snazzy black box designed by feng shui masters, Shanwei Weng and Jiadie Yuan – the design duo behind AN Interior Design Co. Named the “Black Can’t, the project is perched precariously above a street-level furniture store. HEIKE’s hidden landing can be found atop a narrow staircase that emerges beneath a mammoth wedge coated in a black marble dust finish.
Once inside the pared down concept store, customers are met with a balancing act of geometric shapes – not wholly surprising from a team that operates with the philosophy, “First rule of order, cancel standard logic.” Triangular slabs rest on sculptural boxes, merging a mix of materials in a symphony of concrete, steel, aluminum and mirror. Matte and shiny surfaces strike a compelling contrast, exactingly executed in muted grey and black shades that create a stark canvas for clothing that hangs on polished, aluminum racks.
Described by AN Interior Design Co. as “a poetic conceptual and special experiment to create an innovative example of interior design for an independent fashion brand,” the space breathes new life into the conventional concept store. A play on proportions, the project’s cutting shapes, raw concrete construction, and understated furnishings achieve a sense of minimalist elegance vastly unknown in the world of retail. Not surprisingly, the simplistic approach landed AN Studio “World Interior of the Year 2016” by a jury at the annual INSIDE Festival. An architectural feast for the eyes, the boutique’s futuristic aesthetic undoubtedly beats the flickering fluorescent lights at your local khaki-packed GAP store.
Photography courtesy of: Yujie Liu