This shop is located at the intersection of Gage Street and Aberdeen Street, in Central, Hong Kong, and has a tiny footprint of just 200 square feet. The client had the following requests: a shop design to reflect their brand's strong identity; an exterior element that could be changed over time with relative ease; and ample storage space.
The shop's footprint is small, but is blessed with ample ceiling height of 4.2 meters. Our design exploits this vertical dimension by inserting a raised platform around the 2 edges of the space. The main merchandise display is also along these two walls. Two separate staircases connect the raised platform to the entry level below. The exterior staircase/ railing is a 'trompe-l'oeil' (deceive the eye) effect that seemingly connects with the interior staircase and raised platform at both sides of the shop fronts.
In terms of materials, galvanized metal is the main material and is brought over from the client's other existing retail locations. Stainless steel sections and wires are used for the railing, which is a close match with the galvanized metal in terms of color and finish. Complimentary materials include surplus wood floor and inner cardboard tubing that are used for the horizontal display surface for merchandise and the ceiling respectfully.
Wood flooring suppliers often have 'reject' flooring that have been rejected by customers and designers due to color variance. We wanted to create a precious surface for the merchandise. Instead of using the top surface of the wood floor (standard application), we turned the wood flooring sideways and sandwiched them together exposing the edges. The many layers of the wood floor edges created the precious surface we were seeking.
As for the ceiling, we wanted to create a surface with a unique texture that can accommodate MR16 LED light bulbs. Our office is located within an industrial building where many logistics companies are located. Once they are finished with their rolls of industrial grade plastic wrap, they leave behind the inner cardboard tubing, and we see many around our building premise. These cardboard tubing are quite sturdy and has an inner diameter of about 70 mm, which turns out to be the perfect fit to house the MR16 LED light bulbs.
But with an open ceiling, we could not use typical 'downlights', as downlights require a horizontal surface for installation. Therefore we had to create our own light fixture. We did so by securing a piece of wood spanning the diameter of the inner tubing. The base of the bulb is then attached to the piece of wood. The LED light bulbs are scattered randomly into the inner cardboard tubing to create a shimmering effect. There are about 1,500 pieces of cardboard tubing on the ceiling, and about 40 LED light bulbs.