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Featured store: Pinzhen Galleries Beijing flagship

Chinese pawn shop Huaxia has undergone a complete rebranding and redesign under Shanghai design firm Studio8, launching a new flagship in Beijing. The business, now known as Pinzhen Galeries, has reclassified itself as a jewellery and luxury-goods distribution and service platform engaging in pawning, retail, appraisal, maintenance and other services. Material released by Studio8 describes the business as “a new retail form advocating a more sustainable product circulation lifestyle”. The de

The business, now known as Pinzhen Galeries, has reclassified itself as a jewellery and luxury-goods distribution and service platform engaging in pawning, retail, appraisal, maintenance and other services. Material released by Studio8 describes the business as “a new retail form advocating a more sustainable product circulation lifestyle”.

The design firm worked to integrate traditional and modern, Eastern and Western cultures in the brand and store redesign – analysing the tonalities and textures of Pinzhen’s jewellery and precious metal products and arranging them in gradients throughout the design language of the retail space.

The overall layout of the store follows a simple and traditional counter display format while guiding consumers to areas most in line with their tastes. Other design elements in the store take their cues from traditional Chinese artworks.

Centrestage at the front of the store is a stainless steel column incorporating a fish tank, one of the elements traditionally used in older Pinzhen shops to welcome customers. 

Towards the back, a custom-made chandelier of glass roof tiles hangs under a square dark wood ceiling, inspired by traditional Chinese city life, just like the painting “Along the River During the Qingming Festival”. This element reflects Pinzhen’s wish to continue servicing the community and enriching people’s lives, said a Studio8 spokesperson.

Studio8 believes the boundaries between cultures are becoming more and more blurred in the contemporary era. “However, this does not mean that traditions will be forgotten. Instead it is more likely to see diverse and inclusive cultures and styles harmoniously mixed together.”

With Pinzhen’s products ranging from gold, amber and jade to precious stones, diamonds and platinum, as well as watches, purses and suitcases, the store design had to take into account the wide variety of product categories, and target very different customer groups visiting the store. 

“In order to organise and sort them out in the space, the team analysed the tonalities and textures of the all products and arranged them from light to dark, cold to warm, contemporary to traditional, and youthful to mature.”