A spherical passage and otherworldly light reflected through glass prisms feature this skincare store in Hangzhou, China, designed by local interior studio Lialawlab around the theme of retro-futurism.
Created for the independent skin care brand Formoral, the concept store spans a 120-square-foot retail unit in the city’s GDA Plaza shopping mall.
The store consists of a “series of spatial scenes” based on the theme of retro-futurism – which means the future as we imagined it in the past.
“The space is decorated without color; only different textures in similar colors were used to emphasize the level of the space,” Lialawlabchief designer Liya Xing told Dezeen.
“It is conceived as a contrasting but unified whole, which destroys the homogeneity of physical retail spaces in modern cities and explores the deep relationship between nature and the artificial.”
The studio created the Formoral store as an oversaturated space with large structures, pillars and work surfaces finished in a highly textured gray.
“The strict finishes reflect the brand’s affinity with nature, emphasizing the image of a primitive desert planet,” he explained. Lialawlab, which was founded by Liya Xing together with Haifeng Lu.
The studio organized the layout to accommodate the various functional parts of the store and made a clear distinction between public and private spaces.
In the foyer, a sculptural desk greets shoppers from the mall, while in contrast, a large spherical structure that Lialawlab calls a “rising planet” serves as an entrance to the store’s private spaces.
The interior of the structure is lined with benches and connects to the tunnel lined with matte silver foil and aluminum plates.
“To trigger people’s desire to explore space, we cut a 200-millimeter-wide gap at a height of 1.25 meters of massive sphere and tunnel,” the studio said.
“The gap is complemented by mirror material, allowing customers to stay, wonder, stare and rest.”
Two cabin doors along the tunnel lead to eight Formoral functional zones, including product exhibitions, skin testing spaces, events and demonstrations, as well as an office and rest room for employees.
Unlike the gray interior, the designers reflected and refracted light through prisms and neon glass with a gradient index that cast rainbow light spots on the walls.
The studio also included colored lamps and lanterns and a round window in a spherical structure, which is covered with colors with a gradient film.
Although the ceilings of the store are 4.6 meters high, only 2.8 meters of this space is actually useful due to the mechanical, electrical and plumbing services installed on the ceiling structure.
The designers skillfully overcame this problem by creating a sloping suspended ceiling, which is 2.75 meters high at the highest point and handles the top of the spherical structure in the foyer.
At the lowest point of 1.25 meters, it meets the wall to create a smooth, seamless transition.
To avoid costly relocation of services, Lialawlab created an arch-shaped opening with a radius of six feet above the reception desk.
“The ceiling effectively expands the reception to the public area, achieving a balance between functionality and form,” the studio explained.
By the way, the Irish studio Kingston Lafferty Design recently created “otherworldly” interiors within a leather clinic in Dublin, using a range of plaster, marble, terrazzo and stainless steel.
It’s a photo Feng Shao.