Siwilai Concept Store by Yabu Pushelberg, Bangkok
Recalling the vibrant and welcoming energy of a street market, SIWILAI is a multi-brand fashion and style shop anchored by a flexible central event and exhibition space. Inspired to create a dynamic environment that includes a unique brand mix to raw experiences, SIWILAI presents a counterculture to conventional Thai shopping. Merchandise is shown surrounding the central square within nooks, crannies and corners, built to preserve a sense of discovery throughout. Everything within the store environment is bespoke, with a curated, purposeful feel; each detail was considered to reinforce the ethos of the brand. A balance of intricacy and sim- plicity was produced with careful attention to detail. Materials are authentic, honest, and not overly processed. They represent a character and rigor found in traditional Thai crafts- manship and a modern Bangkok. The main entrance captures the Thai spirit with three pairs of solid walnut doors carved with pattern devised from a scaled version of the SIWILAI logo, a portal into the ever- changing environment within.
Inspired by the industrial influence and youthful spirit of an artistâ€™s studio, the central event and exhibition space is framed by custom, pivotable gallery cages. This â€˜transformative boxâ€™ provides a multi-purpose, changeable space within the store to hold events and stage exhibitions. Bordered by white-washed stretch canvas â€˜wallsâ€™, exposed ceilings and concrete floors, the design capitalizes on a somewhat raw, industrial feel.
Beyond the gallery, a glimpse of the womenâ€™s shoe offering is visible through curved natural oak textured wall. A grouping of amorphic cushion-toped rattan ottomans provide seating, adorned with Thai-crafted fabric ribbon. The juxtaposition of hard and soft materials and varying textures accentuate a thoughtful eclecticism. Travelling nearly the entire perimeter of the store, custom metal fins in blackened steel define the womenâ€™s brands and collections. Floating groupings of free-standing fixtures overlap one another, peppered with jewelry tables of artfully stacked boxes. The product is collected into vignettes that each tell a story, handbags with dresses and sweaters, etc., giving the overall experience a sense of informality and discovery.
Playfully articulated, the menswear area is a balance between hard and soft, implied complexity and simplicity. Fixtures are highly detailed, though sometimes intentionally left with raw edges; joints and connections reference details in Thai architecture and craftsmanship. A mix of polished and ad-hoc-feeling elements together lends an inflection of traditional menâ€™s haberdashery alogside sneakers and street wear. Walls wrapped in canvas are complimented by overlapping graphic rugs in raw textures and natural materials like jute and straw. The relatively neutral environment is punctuated with pockets of richness as with Thai walnut-paneled walls which lead to the menâ€™s fitting rooms.
BEAUTY, CRAFT AND GADGETS
Custom fixtures scaled to reflect the product mix house everything from hand-painted scarves to plates, books and vinyl records. A bespoke music station is a reinterpretation of the ubiquitous milk crate; teak wood boxes are also remixed and stacked to display books of all descriptions. Streamlined cabinets display a curated collection of local beauty products in the midst of other curiosities.
Communal style tables, quirky benches with turned wood legs and furniture with a dis- tinctly outdoor feel all work together to create a welcoming, relaxed gathering place for interacting and socializing. Capitalizing on the fifth floor location of the store, a pie-shaped patio is replete with lush planters and small scale grouping of tables and chairs, extending the cafÃ© outdoors. A mix of materials, textures and industrial-inspired elements impart the same youthful, artistic feeling felt throughout SIWILAI.
Design: Yabu Pushelberg
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