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HARMAY cosmetics store presents as an office

With its citrusy palette and edgy office vibe, HARMAY is serving up cosmetics with a twist. Thirsty for more? Read on.

HARMAY cosmetics store presents as an office

While many commercial spaces have that residential feel about them these days, it’s unusual to find a retail store that presents as an office.

Turning the usual expectations of retail on its head, the talented team at AIM Architecture has thought outside the box and designed something very different in the latest project for cosmetic giant HARMAY.

HARMAY AIM Architecture Indesign

Originally an online cosmetics shop, HARMAY is capturing a large section of the beauty market in China by actually building stores and physically engaging with clients.

This latest project was again designed by AIM Architecture, which has collaborated with the business on the roll out of multiple stores.

The project delivers much more than the usual shopping environment and takes the experiential to a whole new level.

The HARMAY OoEli Hangzhou store is situated on the second floor of an office building designed by Renzo Piano, in a mixed-use office park and the 1382 square metre interior space boasts floor-to-ceiling windows and an enclosed central core.

There is an open plan furniture layout with rows of desks, units and cabinets that resembles a typical workplace in the middle and “meeting rooms” enclosed by embossed glass that feature large tables where product is displayed.

The colour palette is bright with lime green, orange and yellow to differentiate areas, carpet is underfoot and a mirrored walkway reflects and extends the space.

There are multiple round windows inserted into the wall between the retail area and the warehouse and this provides a connection between customers and the internal workings of the store.

The design of HARMAY Hangzhou is certainly a new direction for retail and AIM Architecture has once again raised the bar of creativity for its client.

Principals Wendy Saunders and Vincent de Graaf and their team have brought a breath of fresh air into a traditional retail environment where look alike stores abound.

AIM Architecture is based in Shanghai and was established by Saunders and de Graaf in 2005.

The studio designs and manages multiple projects throughout China and South East Asia specialising in hospitality, workplace, retail, residential, cultural and planning projects.

With 40 people from 10 countries in the practice, there is a diversity of perspectives that affords clients an innovative solution to every design challenge, and HARMAY Hangzhou is proof perfect of this.

AIM Architecture

Photography by Wen Studio
HARMAY AIM Architecture Indesign
HARMAY AIM Architecture Indesign

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