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VVYY Group & STILL YOUNG: ARC'TERYX Opens a new concept store in Chengdu that offers wild explorations in Groves of Bamboo

Project name:
ARC'TERYX Store, Taikoo Li Chengdu
Architecture firm:
Taikoo Li Chengdu, Sichuan, China
Principal architect:
Yuanye Deng, Yu Zhang
Design team:
Dawn Du, Dada Zhao, Jiayi Shen, Azel Wang, Ethan Li, CC Li, Donald Lin, Ken Tao, Stone Gao
Conceptual design: Yuanye Deng,Yu Zhang, Eric. Ch. Project management: Linda Li, Laura Cai, Mayi Zhang, Pin Lu. Electromechanical design: James Xu. Artistic fence design: Ruihan Yang, Zexi Chen. Text: Yun Xing. Interactive design: Apro. Technical support: Henry
Interior design:
Built area:
Site area:
Design year:
Completion year:
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
Environmental & MEP:
Tools used:
Commercial › Store

The ARC'TERYX design team, in collaboration with the creative team of Viva la Youyi, recently envisioned the overall creative concept and space design for a new ARC'TERYX store in Taikoo Li Chengdu, Sichuan. After nearly a year of dedicated work, this innovative retail space opened its door this fall. The store spans a total area of 958 square meters with a design that echoes Sichuan's unique cultural and geographical characteristics. Viva la Youyi and STILL YOUNG collaborated in conceiving a space narrative that centers on three "chapters" and five exploration scenes, inspired by local elements and the exploratory spirit of outdoor sports. The store provides a comprehensive showcase for the entire ARC'TERYX collections. Through skillful blending and juxtaposing of materials, the two-story space has been transformed into a consistent three-dimensional landscape scenery, offering immersive retail experiences through creative scenography. .

This new ARC'TERYX store's design started from the idea of fusing retail with storytelling. Based on the brand's concept of symbiosis with nature and the goal of offering varying scenes at every step, ARC'TERYX worked closely with interior designers to blend the mountainous landscapes of Vancouver - the birthplace of the brand with the unique cultural and geographical contexts of Sichuan, renowned as the Land of Abundance. Through skillful blending and juxtaposing of various materials with local characteristics, the two-story retail space has been transformed into a consistent three-dimensional outdoor landscape scenery.

Part 01. Departure from Coast Range

The brand's skeleton logo on the storefront is made of antique green bronze, a surprising encounter exclusively crafted for the ARC'TERYX Store at Taikoo Li Chengdu. Inspired by the fossil prints of Archaeopteryx, the first reptile that developed feathers to fly, this logo pays homage to the brand's origins.

To recreate the ambiance reminiscent of the natural cave where the fossils were discovered, the design team carved out a small opening at the top of the double-height space and incorporated lighting that casts gentle daylight-like glows. The 50-square-meters double-height space creates a cave-like environment, where the dark copper-colored metal leaves hanging on the ceiling further strengthens a sense of outdoors that echoes the brand's origins, complemented with the surrounding custom-made stone walls.

Part 02. Outdoor Expedition

Passing through the entrance and full-height space that compose the "first impression area", the second "chapter" of the spatial narrative is unfolded around the theme of "World Expedition". Various product collections with distinct features are displayed along the circulation route leading to various scenes, including "Rock Climbing", "Rainforest Wandering", and "Back to City". On the second floor, there is a "Cave Exploring" area which features a coffee corner and terraces, providing a convenient spot for customers to take a break.

The "Rock Climbing" scene is on the first floor, which showcases the Ascent and Traverse collections. The display props in this area are primarily made of materials like metal and acrylic, which exude a strong artificial vibe. These props are juxtaposed against the rock walls that present a wild and raw feel, together creating a unique blend of rough textures and a layered spatial ambiance. Just like newly unearthed cultural artifacts, the products are integrated into the specially carved recesses of the stone walls, resulting in a solemn yet natural display.

Warm-colored rocks are utilized to define the interior surfaces on the first floor, as a response to the brand's mountain DNA. This design also pays homage to the unique Sanxingdui culture in Sichuan, as if creating a contemporary outdoor work base.

The second floor accommodates a product display area, a coffee corner, a VIP space, and three terraces. The indoor and outdoor spaces interweave to create a scene of a captivating adventure journey through the incorporation of diverse materials and picturesque views, revealing a strong sense of collage.

The "Rainforest Roaming" section on the second floor showcases the ARC'TERYX's Endorphin and Traverse collections. The design team took inspiration from the natural landscape of the brand's birthplace and recreated the scenery of the temperate rainforest. Based on the study of the plant species in the Creek Trail and Vantage Peak in Canada, they adopted Canadian maple, landscape sawdust, and rammed-earth flooring as the main materials. Additionally, a stretch ceiling creates uniform and natural lighting that evokes the outdoor feel of the rainforest.

In the "Back to City" section, the bespoke warm-colored stone walls are replaced by cold metallic ones, shifting to a modern vibe.

Within the 24 Collection product display area, textured paint, sandblasting stainless steel, and fair-faced concrete wall coating along with prefabricated concrete blocks are used for the walls, floor, and display props. The ceiling is shaped by metal grids that accentuate the space's toughness and lines. For the Veilance Series, which is an ultimate upscale collection, the design team opted for relatively light and soft materials for the display of these products. Besides matte stainless steel and aluminum foam, the bamboo-toned metal structures and bamboo-woven patterns reflect the genius loci of the space.

Next to the Veilance Series display area is the VIP space. To maintain the outdoor ambiance of the terrace, the designers utilized bamboo-pattern decorative columns to create an undulating curved roof. This bamboo element echoes with that of the Veilance Series display area, sets the tone of the VIP space together with brushed stainless steel. In this way, the design creates a transition from Vancouver's temperate rainforest to the lush bamboo forests of Chengdu.

The Archaeopteryx fossil logo is engraved on the side of the customized stone bar counter, which is consistent with the "Cave Exploring" theme that extends to the third terrace and the coffee area on the second floor. The terrace adjacent to the atrium is right above the entrance space on the first floor, offering a glimpse of the store's interior before entering. It becomes a part of the storefront together with the "Sanxingdui" display window. The gravel floorings distinguish the terrace from the indoor space, while the irregularly shaped woven bamboo installation provides outdoor seating and becomes a visual attraction, creating a relaxing pavilion-style space.

Part 03.  Now is the future

The designers strategically placed ARC'TERYX's distinctive "Rebird™ Workshop" and "Mountain Skills Classroom" in the deep back area of the first floor, stimulating customers' curiosity to explore further. In response to the brand's principles of durability and sustainability, the "Rebird™ Workshop", a dedicated space for material recovery, recycling and reuse, is designed with a sense of technology generated by sandblasting stainless steel, custom perforated stainless steel panels, and ultra-clear glass. These materials are complemented by the bespoke rammed-earth floorings and warm-colored stone walls throughout the first level, adding the finishing touch to this experimental material collage. In addition to the use of traditional materials for the setting, the "Mountain Skills Classroom" incorporates projection technology for both online and offline communication with consumers, further enhancing the immersive spatial experience.

In addition to product display areas, fitting rooms also play a crucial role in creating a curated and immersive retail experience. The four fitting rooms on both levels of the store bring in various elements such as stretch ceilings, LED screens, mirrors, and a combination of audio and visual effects. This allows customers to fully immerse themselves while trying out the gear and clothing in the store.

The new ARC'TERYX store in Taikoo Li Chengdu is a sight to behold with its ancient mountain rocks and outstanding huge bamboo structure. The story-telling retail space takes customers on a journey across the ocean and time, exploring new possibilities of retail space through creative scenery. It's a unique presence that offers a glimpse into the past while looking toward the future from a present perspective.

By Stephany Mata Garcia

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