Featured store: Valextra flagship in Chengdu, China

The new Valextra flagship store in China’s Chengdu, designed by Neri&Hu, features hovering walls and a conical light funnel modelled on the Pantheon in Rome.

As featured on Dezeen, the Italian accessories brand’s 160sqm store is divided into two connected spaces: a library and a reading room.

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When customers enter the store, they are greeted with a grid of walnut shelving, on which merchandise is displayed.

Like a library, ladders are used to access the merchandise placed on the upper shelves.

Reclaimed grey bricks are laid on the floor, sliced and twisted in a circular motion, reflecting the deep conical light funnel in the ceiling above – a design element that Neri&Hu says was used to recall the oculus of the Pantheon in Rome.

Lit like a museum, the space uses both artificial spotlighting and natural light, which penetrates the space from the deep facade windows. At the centre of the library the grey brick rises from the floor plane to meet a slab of solid white marble that forms a merchandise display table.

Through the library screen, customers enter the ‘reading room’, which is clad in vertically placed rectangular, green tiles. The tiles’ curved glazed surface create a reflective undulating effect that the designers said adds “texture and depth”.

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Imposing facade

To create the store, the pre-existing shopfront which was designed to match its shopping centre neighbours was demolished, replaced with an imposing solid wall of dark concrete that spans two stories.

As Dezeen observes, a strip of glass runs around the bottom of the black wall, making it appear as if it is hovering above the ground.

Narrow vertical and horizontal windows are carved into the thick wall to provide glimpses of the store within, while a deep set arched entrance with a curved glass door detailed in brass and curved green tile is positioned off centre.

  • Photography by Pedro Pegenaute. More photos and details on Dezeen.

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