Linehouse transforms a 22-square-metre space into a sleek sportswear store in Shanghai. Christie Lee writes.
Just like any other sportswear store, the new All SH Streetwear is riding on the current wave of interest in sneaker wear. Yet, unlike other sportswear stores that boast gigantic floor-to-ceiling storefronts and plenty of display surfaces to show off the season’s latest wares, All SH Streetwear measures a mere 20 square metres – a rarity even in Shanghai, where sky-high rents are forcing many aspiring entrepreneurs to squeeze their offices and wares in increasingly small spaces.
The first thing that Shanghai-based design firm Linehouse did was to rid the walls of their existing shells, exposing the original finishes beneath. Not only does it make for visual de-cluttering, the grungier aesthetic also corresponds to the identity of the brand.
“[As designers] we respond to the existing nature of the site: context, history and materials. We want to create a strong narrative that can tell the story of the brand in a spatial way,” a representative from Linehouse says.
Conceived of white metal and stainless steel, the footwear display makes for a strong juxtaposition against the raw, industrial aesthetic of the walls. The lean vertical displays are also positioned at an angle to ensure that the products enjoy strong street presence.
Stainless steel strips on the floor and ceiling give the illusion of a bigger space with the repetitive lines directing customers’ eyes to the end of the store. Inserted between the footwear displays, mirrored doors leading to storage units and a changing room also visually lengthen the space.
In keeping with the industrial aesthetic, the store is illuminated with three simple rows of exposed light bulbs.