Polariod Pop-up Store, Chengdu Shop Interior Design, New Chinese Retail Building, Architecture Photos

Polariod Pop-up Store in Chengdu

3 Feb 2022

Architecture: Inkmason International Architectural Design Consultants

Location: Chengdu, China

Polariod Pop-up Store, Chengdu

Polariod Pop-up Store Chengdu China

Photos by One Frame Studio


Project Background

Brand Experience x Design Strategy

Located within the Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li shopping complex in Chengdu, this vibrant Polariod Pop-up Store – designed by inkmason and commissioned by LoOneCommune (Polaroid’s exclusive agent in China) – is the product of a combination of extensive research on brand positioning, site context and consumer experience. Visitors’ projected experience of the brand within the space provided the basis for formulating an appropriate design strategy, while also serving as the basis for a design-and-build system suitable for applying to the brand’s future pop-up stores.

To express in as pure a way as possible Polaroid’s unique qualities with a clean, contemporary design language, the “process of creating beauty” was used as a springboard for the spatial design. In doing so, the intrinsic characteristics of the site and the brand as well as the dynamic relationship within the intimate space were amplified.

Polariod Pop-up Store Chengdu by Inkmason

Fun-filled Space
A Space Filled with Toys

“May every visitor to this pop-up store discover a suitable camera for recording their own stories with distinctive aesthetics. ”
— LoOneCommune

As a retail outlet focused on analogue photographic equipment, LoOneCommune is committed to celebrating the culture of analogue photography and instant imaging. The Polaroid cameras, in particular, with their ease-of-use functional attributes, kaleidoscopic colors and ability to afford instant, individualistic expressions have become immensely popular with Chinese consumers.

The “Toy Box”, a spatial form that implies both imagination and expectation, was utilized as a concept to create a highly energetic space that inspires child-like wonder and curiosity.

Using colors as a paint brush, the design team at inkmason delineated this compact space of 24 sqm into an assortment of playful configurations. The colors of the spectrum, conceptualised as building elements, are treated as toy blocks and are utilised as three-dimensional components in this pop-up store. Through combining them in a flexible and imaginative manner, the intangible quality of colors become concretized in the space, moving from the plane of flat surfaces to the realm of three dimensions. At the same time, the perception of color creates a richly layered space – conjuring a spatial experience that triggers an emotional response of joie de vivre.

Chengdu Shop Interior Design

Breaking Spatial Restrictions
An Outward-looking Space of 24m2

To break out of the restrictive compactness of the site, the display windows which face two different directions were mobilized to create an extroverted, inviting space that creates an appearance of a distinctive large-scale “installation” when seen from the street. The atmosphere of the space’s interior opens and expands outwards, bringing visual drama and attracting passersby with its exuberant presence.

Chengdu Shop Interior by Inkmason

The lines of the scaffold shelves and solid forms of concrete blocks are visually transformed into a scale of lightness and simplicity, balanced between the virtual and the real. The boundary of the space is transformed into an open and exchangeable interface, allowing the dynamic nature of the interior to extend and refract outwards like a multi-faceted mirror.

The shaping of this small pop-up store, through the use of frames and blocks, color and light, subtly strengthens the atmosphere of the internal space, while also incorporating the surrounding exterior environment into its design approach: thus a new urban spatial relationship is created, and new architectural spatial scales along with it.

Polariod Pop-up Store Chengdu

Instant Imaging
The Process of Creating Beauty

This is not simply an example of creating an experience geared towards a particular product, but also a solution that satisfies the requirements of a rapid building process, instituted to comply with the hard restrictions on construction time and building cycles for commercial malls.

“Southwestern China, Chengdu in particular, is a historical center with young vibrant creativity. Polaroid is the perfect medium for ideas to be exchanged and crossed over. ”
— Polaroid

The compressed passage of time, an instant gratification process inherent in instant imaging, is a core experience of Polaroid cameras.

The finished space, through its utilisation of materials meant to evoke the transitional and industrial – scaffolding and concrete blocks – conceptually embodies “the process of creating beauty”, and in doing so creates a spatial and visual metaphor of abstract time.

Chengdu Store Interior by Inkmason

While maintaining an open, elemental visual order, the scaffold shelves are installed in a direct manner which trace a series of lines within and around the store, creating a geometric sense of composition and using the ‘negative’ space available in an advantageous and pleasing manner. Meanwhile, the neatly arranged concrete blocks introduce a tactile, textural quality into the store, in accordance with emphasising the personal experience of touching the products on display, a way of connecting to the space through the sense of touch. Somewhat akin to using a space bar on a keyboard, they allow for three-dimensional interaction, from space to product, and back again.

The pop-up store is pre-visualised from the point of view of the space to be created, inside looking out, transforming the kernel of a composition contained in an image into a constructed unit realised in three dimensions – ultimately representing the concept of “interior”, which can be understood as both a physical space, and an abstraction of time.

Whether it be the creation of images or the construction of spaces, meaning is not the outcome of a specific objective, but rather something which arises out of an immediate appreciation of the present moment. In this way, a sense of meaning within time may be born within space.

China Store Interior by Inkmason

A Theater of Encounters
The Moment of Birth

“This pop-up store curated a space that is meant for each person, every day, every moment, to be unique.”
— inkmason Designer Kin Lam

Situated in a shopping mall environment with a dark color palette, the project creates “encounters” by applying the iconic color spectrum of Polaroid at an expanded scale – in doing so, brand recognition is effectively achieved, while visually activating the store for visitors as the variegated colors subtly shift while walking through or past the project.

Polariod Pop-up Store Chengdu

In light-sensitive photo development, we comprehend the process in terms of optical principles, and abstractly as a record of an encounter between an individual and space. Optical phenomena are transformed into a poetic language, and the technology of the camera is brought to reflect a philosophical sensibility – resulting in the unique product of a flash of inspiration within a singular moment in time.

When beginning this project, the store was envisioned as a theater which would provide a setting for many unique future experiences, allowing for rewarding engagement between the space, brand, and people. In doing so, interaction between the brand and consumers is condensed into pure visual attraction or the simple touch of a button – and at this moment of contact, everything becomes possible.

In the store, the Polaroid brand identity is fully integrated into the space, providing a platform within which a heightened focus on the products becomes possible: the color spectrum logo acts as a conceptual anchor point, and is an instantly recognizable element which can be easily seen or recorded. The conception and realisation of this design also stem from inkmason’s years of experience with the brand – a path which has encompassed exploration in all directions and dimensions, delving into the very core of Polaroid’s history, values, and aspirations.

Polariod Pop-up Store Chengdu China

Ahn Luh Guantang Resorts and Residence in Chengdu, China – Building Information

Lighting Design: Inkmason International Architectural Design Consultants – https://www.linkedin.com/company/inkmason-international-architectural-design-beijing-co-ltd/

Project Client: LoOneCommune
Project Address: China, Chengdu. Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li
Project Area: 24 sqm
Design Period: 2021.06 – 2021.07
Construction Period: 2021.11 – 2021.11

Design Firm: inkmason International Architectural Design Consultants
Project Architect: Kin Lam
Designer: John Zhang
Lighting Consultant: Liquidesign

Polariod Pop-up Store Chengdu

Photography: One Frame Studio

Ahn Luh Guantang Resorts and Residence, Chengdu images / information received 030222

Location: Chengdu, China

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Comments / photos for Ahn Luh Guantang Resorts and Residence, Chengdu designed by Inkmason International Architectural Design Consultants page welcome

Chengdu, China is the capital of southwestern China’s Sichuan province.