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Atelier Tao+C Designs An All-Gray Interior For Menswear Store JHW

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Shanghai-based practice Atelier Tao+C has shared their latest project with IGNANT: a monochrome space with pared-back decor for a multi-brand boutique in the city of Zhengzhou, China.

The grayscale interior of the ‘JHW Store’ is made primarily from two materials: washed granolithic plaster and polished stainless steel. “One is rough and dull, while the other is sterile and reflective, which form[s] an austere, monochrome space,” explain the architects. The interior walls and floors of the two-storey space achieve their grainy texture with plaster; a finely-ground mixture of granite stone and cement that was commonly applied to the facades of art deco-style buildings in Shanghai in the 1920s. The reuse of this material occurred so as to “evoke memories of the most dynamic and creative era, and to convey a more ‘local’ sense of the street,” they say. Located in what the architects describe as a ‘banal’ shopping mall in Zhengzhou, the 400 square meter space aims to stand out from its surroundings, thereby promoting awareness of the emerging local designs stocked inside the store. Referring to the interior as a “lightweight inner shell”, the architects designed openings around the perforated stainless steel perimeter, so that sunshine can “[project] oblong spots onto the fine-grained ground.” The ‘JHW Store’ exclusively stocks emerging Chinese designers with a focus on minimal men’s streetwear, accessories, and a modest selection of womenswear.

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All images © Fangfang Tian