The concept of supermarket was born as a by-product of the fast-paced lifestyle within the us back within the 1930s. Most supermarkets in china adopt the traditional spatial model supported efficiency but often lack a memorable character. Commissioned by fresh mart, a replacement brand established in changsha, to style its store identity, lukstudio has reinterpreted elements from common chinese markets and street booths, giving the familiar typology an unfamiliar facelift.
Located next to many residential compounds within the new cbd of changsha, the given irregular site comes with two entrances, one facing the pingsha street and therefore the other connecting to the hi park mall. Throughout the supermarket, a wooden frame is employed as an infrastructure that ties all the various sections: fruit & vegetable, fishmonger, butchery, dry goods, restaurant, cafe and bakery. Each section is then characterized by an assembly of relevant features or textures.
The street facade and therefore the nearby dry goods section are marked by stacking milk crates which convey a way of order among the busy racks and double as spectacular lanterns in the dark .
At the fruit and vegetable section, the thought is to make the experience of walking down the aisles during a local chinese outdoor market, a series of metal mesh canopies mimicking tarpaulin is that the key feature.
at the corner where the butchery turns into the fishmonger, aside from an active wall graphic linking the sections, a cloth gradation along the counter intends to smooth the transition. Inspired by the sturdy cutting board often employed by butchers, wooden blocks of various depths line the meat section and gradually become waterproof stone finish surrounding the self-serviced fish tanks.
The restaurant is conceived as an open-air street foodstall. Hovering over an array of refrigerated goods and seating, the wooden frame structure here transforms into an ad-hoc pitched roof with the addition of corrugated panels. Lattice screens are used as a visually permeable barrier between dining and shopping, but also a unifying texture wrapping around counters and equipment. Bamboo tables, rattan chairs and flagstone pavers together compose a chinese vernacular, recalling the memory of getting humble yet authentic dishes at an outside local joint.
Following the flagstone pavement, the “open-air” food stall results in a more intimate bakery and café area. By replacing corrugated panels into purlin structure, the wooden frame gives form to a gable-roof cabin, optimizing the first low-ceiling space into a comfortable hangout with terraced seating. At the bakery equipment, a grid extends from the gable-roof structure and becomes the framework of an orderly bread display. At the check-out area, molded strawboard with a weaving profile is employed to line the counter front and therefore the menu above. Its natural warm tone and rich texture help compose the general welcoming ambience.
With the proliferation of e-commerce, ordering online grocery has become a norm in china. The aim of a physical supermarket therefore is not any longer about providing convenience but experience. It should be a platform where customers study new knowledge on food and preparation; it could grow a community where the elders expire lifestyle tips to the youths; it’s simply an area to be social and meet others. By creating vernacular ambience during a modern supermarket, lukstudio wishes to strengthen the collective memory of a vivid chinese marketplace.