Rock&Ride Shenzhen MixC Popup Store / Within-Beyond Studio
Text description provided by the architects. The architectural design inspiration for this project originates from the heavy industry domain, drawing from fuel towers and jet propulsion systems, with a focus on the dynamics of “energy storage” and “ejection.” It translates into a symbolic architectural space using concise language, aligning with the core spirit of the American retro jewelry brand Rock&Ride. The design is rich in passion and power, symbolizing the infusion of continuous energy into the free riders. The breakthrough in the context of block-type commerce lies in the open embrace of urban space, creating a favorable urban living experience. Simultaneously, the construction of the architectural image must strike a balance between artistry and mass appeal, allowing for a distinctive commercial space that can amplify the brand’s voice and inject new vitality into the urban landscape.
Current Situation and Challenges. The project is located in Shenzhen MixC World, at the entrance of a commercial street and a core area of pedestrian traffic, with a retained canopy in the center of the site. The key challenges include how to manage the relationship between the new building and the city, how to balance the “lightness” of pop-up shops with the “heaviness” of the brand, and how to address the impact of the canopy on the architectural form.
Architectural Design. We first use weathered steel cylinders to cover the entire site. The canopy over the site has a cantilevered trend facing the main street. We adapt to this trend by setting the main facade of the building back to the edge of the canopy’s inclined columns. The ground is partially raised, extending to the site’s boundary, maximizing urban open space. The upper volume of the main facade extends outward and is intersected by a sloping surface facing the main street, revealing the interior cavity of the cylinder. Inside the cavity, a conical metal inner wall is installed, resembling the shape of a jet, and paired with flame-like lighting to illuminate the front entrance space, creating a strong atmosphere. The slight lift of the cantilevered portion of the main facade ensures that pedestrians on the main street can see the expression of the facade, maximizing the presentation of the facade’s tension. The back facade of the building faces a tranquil garden, and therefore, this facade is treated with a subdued and dignified approach.
The Urban Role of the Building. The most significant feature of block-type commerce is the experiential aspect of urban space. We use a “step back to advance” approach to create ample urban open space, solving the problem of shading and shelter for outdoor queues during peak periods of pop-up shops. At the same time, we return the site to the city, embracing the public with an open attitude, becoming a hub for urban life. This “step back” breaks down the barrier between commercial space and urban space, creating a rich interface for indoor spaces.
The Commercial Role of the Building. The entire building is covered in weathered steel finish paint, maximizing the weight and recognition of the pop-up shop, transforming the “light” brand behavior into a “weighty” architectural statement. The building is completely open along the street, showcasing the indoor commercial ambiance to the public through glass curtain walls. American highway signs are placed on the top, surpassing the building’s height limits to convey the brand message throughout the entire street.
Interior. The interior layout adopts an efficient arrangement, with display cabinets along the walls to maximize product visibility. In the nodal areas of the circular circulation, external cylindrical elements are inserted into the interior, echoing the architectural language and housing art installations within the cavities. Overhead, wave-shaped ceiling elements made from recycled corrugated panels outline the spatial direction, enhancing the rough texture that corresponds with the exterior facade. Mechanical heart and floral art installations created by artists compensate for the delicacy and fluidity that resonates with the jewelry, adding an artistic atmosphere and visual focal points to the interior space.
Consistency of the Theme. From interior furniture to city seating, and even in the logo design, variations of the cylindrical symbol are used, unifying the theme and elevating the overall design to new heights.