Tucked inconspicuously on the second furniture floor of a furniture store in Hangzhou is the Heike fashion brand concept store. Accessible only through a narrow staircase, the store was designed by AN Interior Design Co to convey a poetic conceptual and spatial experiment, creating an innovative example of interior design for an independent fashion brand and breaking the conventions of a fashion retail store interior.
Aptly named the “Black Cant”, this project features a wedge-like element to demarcate the space. “The crossing of the space between the two levels, the stairway, is simultaneously concealed and enhanced by a sculptural black block,” says the designer. “Named the ‘Black Cant’, this large slanted wedge separates by connecting and incorporates the passage from the ground to the first floor. It also includes the container for the fitting room and stock areas.”
It’s interesting to note that apart from being a conversation piece, the dark and invasive volume functions as a “text” element on a blank page while serving as a store and a gallery for exhibitions and events. Throughout, the project is an edgy cacophony of geometric, cutting shapes, minimal furnishing and a varied range of materials such as concrete, steel, aluminum and mirrors.
“Different textures were used to create matte and shiny surfaces, all of them in strictly gray and black shades, eloquent signs of craftsmanship,” the designers say, “Other example is the raw concrete construction, contrasting with the polished floors, the steel window structures, the hangers, the intensely black marble dust finish and the polished metals.”