A temple of luxury. It’s a concept a designer may have in the back of their mind when conceiving a retail space. Various Associates took the idea a step further at an outpost of SND, a clothing and jewelry boutique inside the upscale Shin Kong Place shopping center in Chongqing, China. Confronted with a long and narrow 3,100-square-foot plan surrounded by a glass facade on three sides, co-founder Yang Dongzi utilized mirrors to create a funhouse effect as customers meander through narrow corridors. “We stretched the obvious walking route,” he says, “so you can see the products in an interesting way.”
At the end of one 90-foot-long passageway, symmetry rules what is an inner sanctum of sorts, which the designer describes as “churchlike.” International clothing brands are displayed in a monochrome setting lit by LEDs. “The design creates a sense of sacredness and ceremony,” Yang continues. With such little ornamentation, materials and textures really shine. A tuft of fluffy faux wool contrasts sharply with the portal’s cool terrazzo. A mirror wall seems to add depth. The pristine shrine is divine.