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Epic cantilevers: JINS Shanghai by Junya Ishigami

Using exaggerated concrete cantilevered shelving, this retail space in Shanghai for a Japanese eyewear brand certainly catches the eye.

JINS has unveiled its first Shanghai outpost and retail store located in the Lujiazui financial district, with a cantilevered concrete display system and all-white interior designed by Japanese architect Junya Ishigami. Situated within a mall on the second floor of the Shanghai World Financial Centre (SWFC), the minimalist store design welcomes visitors with extended and suspended concrete beams that act as gravity-defying display shelves for JINS eyewear.

The interior has a contemporary industrial feel with the overhead piping and ventilation system left exposed and painted completely in white. Presenting a strong focus on the product, the eyewear frames and colours are a stark yet complimentary contrast to the surrounding white cabinets and interior. The store features ‘Natural White’ 4,000-Kelvin colour LED lighting, providing warmth in the clinical environment.

JINS Junya Ishigami photo copyright Eiichi Kano 08

JINS founder and CEO Hitoshi Tanaka has long held an interest in arts and design, enlisting Ishigami to create an “architectural expression within a crowded shopping mall”. Each of the five counters diversifies in length and extends to a maximum of 12 metres, positioned 80 centimetres above the floor at waist height. The architects intended to create a “low, extending landscape” and hence kept each of the tables at an equal, horizontal level.

JINS Junya Ishigami photo copyright Eiichi Kano 10

The floating shelving system was approached as an architectural construction by incorporating a self-contained system of pre-stressed cantilevers. To create the suspended shelves, Junya Ishigami worked alongside structural engineer Jun Sato. Ishigami explains, “The cantilever structure of the tables is composed of pre-stressed beams attached to a column at one side.” The floating beams were reinforced by connected H-beams embedded into the adjoining wall, welded to expansive steel sheets set within the floor. Says Ishigami, “Bowed slightly, this heavy plate acts as a heavy base to keep the upper cantilever in balance.”

JINS Junya Ishigami photo copyright Eiichi Kano 01

Not only does the design present the floating volumes in an open and transparent space, but achieves lightness in design for a material that is typically thought of as heavy – a refreshing surprise for a store interior.

Photography copyright Eiichi Kano (courtesy of Junya Ishigami).


Designer: Junya Ishigami + Associates
Person In Charge: Junya Ishigami
Design Team: Cing Lu, Akira Uchimura
Structural Engineer: Jun Sato Structural Engineers (structural concept)
Contractor: Shanghai Innovation Architecture & Technology Development Co., Ltd (table construction), SPACE JAPAN Co., Ltd (rest of construction)
Total Floor Area: 139sqm

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