The Stacked Expedition
Founded in 1917, Nikon has been a trademark associated with professional imaging equipment for over a century. Its cameras have enabled humanity to reach all corners of the world, even in space. Yet, since the beginning of 2000s, the shift from film to digital photos, and the trend of more portable cameras have dramatically changed the industry. In 2020, with the new concept “Empower to Create”, the brand introduced its revolutionized products to the young users of the Chinese market, and engaged LUKSTUDIO to create its store identity.
The store is located at the corner of a Shikumen building on Huaihai Road, a trendy neighborhood where young people gather. Conventional camera shops are designed often either as a cultural gallery or a technological laboratory, both could be intimidating to the common shoppers. LUKSTUDIO aims to create an inviting environment where one could dream about the next outdoor adventure.
The overall retail experience has been tailored to introduce the brand, the products and the community on three separate levels, each a quadrant in plan. Given the different spatial requirements, three different scenes have been created, each with its own design attributes. The common connection is the rammed earth background mimicking Danxia landform, a natural landscape that changes colours on each levels.
Aperture – Rotation to focus
The first floor is designed as a brand gallery. The combination of rammed earth backdrop and stainless-steel display parts takes inspiration from the experience of shooting in the wild, where exquisite equipment juxtaposes rustic landscape.
The perforated stainless-steel ceiling progresses like an aperture with many optic rings. Power tracks are integrated between rings to supply electricity for the uni-wheel stainless-steel display booths, which can then relocate freely in space while provide a touch-screen tablet for each camera on display. Together with the surrounding display grid, a flexible and diverse gallery system is in place.
Lenses – Changing angles, Infinite possibilities
The second floor is the touch and try area where most products are on display, visitors are encouraged to pick up a camera and try shooting with it. The dramatic ceiling is filled with mirrored stainless steel strips, extending the space upwards while adding a futurist touch. At the center of the showroom stand 4 circular booths whose reeded texture are inspired by camera lens.
Product categories are differentiated through a modular display system and seasonal products are arranged in another flexible peg board area. Demonstrating infinite possibilities of creativity, the display kit-of-parts are interchangeable thanks to the removable cross pegs looking like focus points.
Under the Stars – A Field for the Explorer
The top floor is an event area for users to meet and learn from each other. The original space feels claustrophobic as it comes with heavy beams and pipes. To create a space that is mind-opening, LUKSTUDIO dissolves the visual obstacles in a pitch blackness and hangs numerous lights in the void, recalling the memory of camping under a starry sky.
The explorer’s wisdom of adaptation is reflected here in flexible furniture design which allows the space to transform from a casual hangout spot to different workshops, or even a photographic studio.
Paying tribute to the brand’s manufacturing past, the stairwell linking the three immersive sets is designed with an industrial material palette. Lined with rhythmic vertical frames and rustic perforated metal panels, the neutral “darkroom” is a buffer maximizing visitors’experience going from floor to floor. At the stair entrance, a wall feature is composed of 629 optic lenses where Chinese characters of Shanghai is written in light, marking this first of many experimental stores in China.
As our world is getting more virtual and our yearn for physical experience is greater than ever, designing a physical store for a camera brand is a process of questioning the essence of creativity, that roots in our love for nature. Through stacking an expedition in an urban context, Lukstudio aims to remind urbanites to explore outside and share their experiences with one another.
Location | No. 372 Huaihai Middle Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai
Net Area | 270㎡
Interior Design | LUKSTUDIO
Director | Christina Luk
Design Team | Dong Wu, Angel Wang, Munyee Ng, Edoardo Nieri
Scope | interior, millwork, furniture, lighting and signage design
Key Materials | metal mesh, wood veneer panel, white latex paint, rammed earth paint
Design Period | 2020.10-2020.12
Construction Period | 2021.07-2021.10
General Contractor | Shanghai Jinwei Building Decoration Engineering Co., Ltd.
Display Furniture, Loose Furniture, VI | Jiangsu Zhansen fixture&furniture Co., Ltd.
Photography | Wen Studio