London-based retail architecture practice Sybarite has designed and delivered RENDEZ-VOUS, a new lifestyle concept within luxury department store SKP Beijing, which will launch in SKP Xi’an later this year.
Sybarite was commissioned to design the RENDEZ-VOUS store concept as part of the practice’s extensive work for SKP, which included the re-design, re-brand and complete refurbishment of SKP Beijing. Work has been carried out in stages with RENDEZ-VOUS being the latest project to be completed.
Located on the fourth floor of SKP Beijing, RENDEZ-VOUS hosts a number of carefully curated operators, including RENDEZ-VOUS coffee; TWG tea room; a wine bar and cellar; an artisanal cheese room with cheese-making facilities; a restaurant area called ‘Without Borders’ which includes pizzas topped with mozzarella made onsite; and a bookstore which connects all aspects of the creative and cultural lifestyle space.
The overall material palette for the space is intentionally simple. To create an atmosphere that is both timeless and intimate, Sybarite chose a combination of walnut, black lacquered steel and a marble floor, as well as punctuations of brushed brass. Sybarite specifically sourced the marble from a quarry where two bands of naturally occurring and complementary light and dark grey tones were found together. These two tones of marble sit together beautifully and were applied in stripes across the whole store. Black lacquered steel geometric extrusions create a uniformity and rhythm throughout the space with walnut shelves creating the display surfaces. This geometric language ties all the different lifestyle categories together.
The dining area is brought to life with vibrant, bright red table tops made from back painted glass. A crescent of bookshelves sweeps into the dining area, balanced by banquette seating, with a backdrop of books. Above the tables, industrial style pendant lights provide a warm and intimate atmosphere.
Lighting plays a key role in the RENDEZ-VOUS design and focuses on showcasing the products and merchandise to create a feeling of intimacy. The light fixtures from the ceiling are varied in style within the different categories of the store, to break up the different zones.
Sybarite is currently designing a second luxury SKP department store in Xi’an in China where the RENDEZ-VOUS concept will also be rolled out, only five times the size at 5,400 sq. m. SKP Xi’an will provide 250,000 sq. m of retail and leisure over 20 floors and is due to complete in 2018.
Torquil McIntosh, co-founder, Sybarite commented: “It was very important that the RENDEZ-VOUS design enhanced rather than overpowered the products, clearly communicating the RENDEZ-VOUS language, delivered through the architectural environment. We designed a store concept that could be scalable, and the simplicity of the design allows it to be used across the different categories within the store.”