The firm was commissioned to design a store that would reflect the elevated vision and new public image of 1436, highlighting the character of the company and the personality of its collections. As purveyors of the purest cashmere, the client intended to use the store as a storytelling device to showcase the intricate manufacturing process and pay homage to the Mongolian grasslands from which the materials originate. The 4,300 SF flagship boutique in Beijing’s Kerry Center thus provides a window into the world of 1436, revealing its cultural context as well as qualities of technical sophistication and relaxed elegance.
The design is inspired by the “transformation of the fiber” and shapes the store’s entire experience from the outside in. The storefront boasts an iconic glass façade, layered with a succession of veiling gestures and LED panels to filter natural light inside while presenting an abstract landscape of light to the busy street. Animating the interior space is Nebulosa, a luminescent feature wall that serves as a merchandising fixture and visual screen to narrate the spinning of natural cashmere into fibers and garments. A second art wall commissioned from artist Orazio DeGennaro abstracts the Mongolian landscape through gradating tones of gray-pigmented plaster, providing abackdrop to the floating, sculptural staircase that heightens the impression of lightness and softness as it hovers from above. Freestanding display fixtures are also conceived as suspended lightweight elements, evoking the thinness and airiness of the product. Built-in, illuminated display niches further highlight the collections, while floating scrims define soft edges between collection areas and can be embellished with seasonally changing graphics.
Providing the exclusivity of customizable pieces, the store’s experience is just as tailor-made. In order to cater to the brand’s objective of being “soft as silk, white as snow, and light as a cloud,” every aspect of the 1436 Flagship is designed to mirror the delicacy, airiness, and quality exemplified in their cashmere goods.