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Ports 1961: Bund, Shanghai

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Ports 1961

Project Status


Year Completed



2,750 sq. feet



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Project Description

Archi-Tectonics NY/NL designed their first Ports1961 Boutique in Harvey Nichols, London, which opened Spring 2010. Archi-Tectonics was asked to further develop the store concept for the 2750 sq.ft. [221m2] Ports1961 Shanghai Flagship Store, which is located on the prestigious Bund in Shanghai, which just opened Spring 2011.

For the Concept of the Ports1961 Shanghai Flagship Store, we were inspired by the two important factors which helped create Shanghai and in particular the Bund, namely its history as an international port and its use of the Art Deco style. As the Art Deco moved over the years away from the soft pastels and organic forms of Art Nouveau and embraced influences from many different styles of the early 20th century, including Modernism and Futurism, we chose to continue this progression and developed a fluid, organic environment for this new Ports1961 Flagship store.

We introduced a silvery wood liner for the space, which forms a calm backdrop for the Ports collection as it is suspended in space over sculpted wood bases featuring accessories, such as bags, shoes and jewelry. We combined these flowing silvery gray wood liners with the pearly finish of the inside volumes. Like an oyster, the rough outer walls line the outside walls, and reveal soft glowing silvery slivery volumes inside, which generate a more gallery-like atmosphere. Here mannequin bodies suspend the collection in space, which, lit from below by recessed lighting, accentuate the fluidity of the fashion pieces. Movement created by the Flagship store’s clients, causes the mannequins to slowly turn, and reveal the clothing slowly from all angles. Low lights reinforce this almost hypnotic movement, and a very large chandelier composed of chrome mesh veils.

When approaching the dressing rooms, one finds a golden metallic padded wall, which forms a shimmering backdrop for the seating area adjacent to the fitting rooms. The fitting rooms then, “frame” the client in an ingenuous set of pivoting mirrors, which generously reveal all angles, softly lit, in this crystalline space.

For the continuity of the stores worldwide a series of elements were designed. Archi-Tectonics developed suspended mannequins as ‘sculpted’ bodies, designed chrome-nickel tables lit by recessed light in the wood bases, integrated felt padded benches in the low platforms, and added the TV-mirrors showcasing the latest fashion shows in Paris, Milan and New York. These add to the twisted nickel bars and hanging gauze vitrines, designed by Gabellini Sheppard Associates. The large table and two mesh chandeliers are by Barlas Baylar of Hudson furniture, NYC.

Indirect led lighting is used to enhance the space’s fluid geometry, with lighting coves concealed in the floor and above the pearly ceiling surface, thus creating a contrasting glow on the clothing and adjacent surfaces. The final effect is a rich, integrated environment that delivers maximum dramatic impact to a fluidly segmented space.
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