West Lake, an iconic freshwater lake in Hangzhou, is considered to be one of the most beautiful places in China. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011, its beauty is the subject of many poems and paintings. Mist-covered West Lake has also inspired the design of the newest branch of Chinese cosmetics retail brand HAYDON, located on Hubin Pedestrian Street, the most famous commercial street in Hangzhou, only 100 meters away from West Lake. Architecture and interior design firm, Various Associates, has lent its expertise in designing a retail space that provides a fascinating backdrop for the products contained within. In the design of HAYDON, Various Associates has effectively used the notion of the mist-covered West Lake not only because of the beauty it conveys, but also because it aligns with the cosmetic brand’s core values, namely freedom, individuality, and exploration.
Its curved volumes and spiraling lines are treated with a combination of white and silver-toned reflective surfaces, giving the spaces in the store an abstract, futuristic feel. Adding to this impression is the extensive use of mirrored surfaces and sophisticated lighting used throughout HAYDON. Mirrored strips that are aligned with the arc-shaped product display cases, as well as the mirrored partitions that double as impromptu dressing rooms, enable customers to try product samples with ease. The dense lighting strips used on the ceilings create a glimmering light show, while the concealed lighting beneath the display cases makes them appear to float above the floor.
In order to achieve the desired spatial effect, Various Associates chose to completely redo the building’s interior creating a new mezzanine level connecting the ground and first floors. Inspired by West Lake’s famous Broken Bridge, a spiral staircase was added that narrows as it ascends leading customers to the mezzanine level. Here there is a part-circulation, part product display area that in turn takes customers to the upper floor via a second staircase. With its futuristic ambiance, HAYDON’s Hangzhou store exemplifies the brand’s tagline, freedom, individuality, and exploration, inviting customers to explore the wonderland in their own individual way.
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