The Romanticism Shop in Hangzhou, China by SAKO Architects

Romanticism is a women’s clothing brand with about 500 stores in China. Japanese architects Keiichiro Sako and Takeshi Ishizaka of SAKO Architects, have now designed a few locations for the brand in the city of Hangzhou. Seen below is the second Romanticism shop they designed.

In an interview with, Keiichiro Sako has described the design:

The client asked me for a design that no one could copy. There were no other requests. My design style is that if a client has a requirement, I try to get a grip on his thinking and bring it further. As there were no requirements, I questioned the concept of the boutique, the clothes and the relationship between body and space. In the end I designed an organic net winding through the space.

Clothes are our second skin, space a third skin, and my design is positioned in between the clothes and space. It’s like a piece of furniture that you can hang clothes on and it changes its shape into partition, counter, chair, furniture as well as railing.

Photography by Koji Fujii / Nacasa & Partners Inc.

Description of Romanticism 2 in Hangzhou by SAKO Architects

Clothes are what being cut and made of two-dimensional fabric and wrap up three-dimensional body. It started with the idea of adjusting temperature and later grew up into the second skin. Spaces also wrap up body, adjusting temperature. However being different from clothes, space cannot move.

Furthermore, instead of space defining elements such as floor, wall or ceiling, there still have the third skin between space and clothes, they are partition, furniture and so on. ‘Clothes like space’ or ‘Space like clothes’ is what we tried to express.

This boutique is located in the neighborhood of Xihu lake, close to the center of Hangzhou. And ROMANTICISM is a lady brand that is holding about 500 boutiques.

The organic net is going through the whole space. Just like being absorbed from the facade into inner room and then changing the shape smoothly till 1F, wrapping the floor up. Close one side at stairs, the same net goes to basement, and made out various parts as it did at 1F in strong form.

The net change its shape into partition, counter, chair, furniture as well as railing. Act as the third skin, net comprise of bone, flesh as well as skin. Bone is ordinary reinforcing steel, flesh is form insulation and glass fiber, and skin is epoxy resin as well as oil paint.

Some display holes were made in three-dimensional white wall. It is enlarged motif of body and clothes.

Meanwhile, mirror-finished stainless was used in the ceiling of 1F. This is for vision impact, illumination and overcoming of the low ceiling. Objects reflected from curved stainless look like those in the water. In other words, water should be below us in usual go up over us, then a fantastic view show up.

Information about materials:
Floor: cement mortar, white tile, white marble finish
Ceiling: stainless steel compound board mirror finish
Wall: lumber core back, plaster board water paint finish
Net: steel rod, styrofoam, glass fiber, epoxy resin, water paint finish
Furniture: Almost all furniture is made by the same material and method as “net.”

SAKO Architects
Principal architect: Keiichiro SAKO
Address:1801, Tower8, JianWaiSOHO, No. 39, East 3rd Ring Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100022 CHINA
TEL:+86 10 5869 0901
FAX:+86 10 5869 1317
E-mail: [email protected]

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