Nax Architects has recently designed a pop-up shop for tea cosmetics brand Cosmetea, as a reflective time tunnel in the streets of Shanghai. The project involved transforming a steamed dumpling shop on the corner of the historic Yuyuan road, into a retail and exhibition pop-up store, as well as creating a brand-new scene that suits the urban lifestyle and shares the brand’s philosophy with the world. The concept draws influence from spatial design and brand planning, while following a more artistic approach to form an immersive experience for the customers.
The design team took inspiration from Cosmetea’s logo, which is based on a simplified image of a fairness cup, and resembles a pendulum with a time imprint, implying cosmetics users’ inner wish to hold on to the present, and slow down the passing of time. The logo’s pendulum image is internalized as a design language and starts with the façade being dramatically chiseled out to create a cave, extending to generate a 9-square-meter interior space and thus creating infinite possibilities within the limited spatial scale.
The ‘time tunnel’ uses a stainless steel mirror with LED string lights, and combines with a large window to bring in urban and natural landscapes while blurring the boundaries between its interior and exterior. The hollow layer has pallets that are inserted into customized slots in a sequence based on the principles of mortise and tenon structures. The wall cabinet can be used for product display and storage, and its surfaces are painted red to match the brand’s main color scheme.
When stepping and walking on the glass floor, visitors will encounter a series of circles, and each circle represents a period of time during the past. It also has drawers that visitors can rummage through to search for old items. The circular tunnel is like a wormhole that transcends time and space, and enables people to briefly escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
The entire space was created based on the pop-up model. It incorporates creative, visual and sensory aspects, as well as a conflict between past and future to give space a new sense of vitality. In the daytime, it’s a very friendly and shared space with a childish sense of wonder. As night falls, it’s more like an urban lighthouse. Based on cutting-edge concepts, this project’s spatial experiment and behavioral experience help gradually deepen the brand’s impression on its consumers while reconsidering the relationship among city, nature and people.