With smart design, basic local craft skills and a flexible experimental attitude, even the most ordinary warehouse-like space can become an appealing selling environment.
This was recently proven in the Yuntai Ice Chrysanthemum Industry Park in Houyanmen Village in Huanfeng Town, where Beijing-based LUO Studio www.luostudio.cn transformed a hurriedly built steel-frame warehouse into a locally relevant, charming display space by creating a delicate-looking wooden sub-structure inside the bland hall.
The purpose of this specific building is to function as a display area and showroom for the region’s famous Ice Chrysanthemum products that have a multitude of medicinal and cosmetic uses. The selling channels of these products from this space include hosted tour groups, franchisee marketing and livestreaming. It was also becoming clear that because of social media and online channels, the physical selling and display environment have become crucially important.
In addition, the pandemic has interrupted the influx of tour groups and the ice chrysanthemum plantations in the village have suffered severe production decrease because of recent floods. All this required the space not only to help boost sales but also do it with minimum costs.
Designers and construction instructors Luo Yujie, Wang Beilei, Huang Shangwan, Zhang Chen of LUO Studio worked with local people to create the 602 square-metre (6,480 sq.ft) exhibition space with all this in mind. Local affordable materials, and uncomplicated techniques that did not require special equipment or specialised skills, were the answer. LUO Studio chose thin wooden panels with a high lumber recovery rate manufactured by a local timber factory as main construction material. The panels can be assembled by hand and easily relocated and reused.
Onsite experimentation helped the designers and local workers to arrive at the best solutions especially in terms of bending the wood to an optimal, safe shape. The result is a delicate and organic-looking display area that is thoroughly local, and cleverly disguises the unseemly industrial hall.
Luo Yujie, founder of LUO Studio, is known for his creative and bold design solutions using reclaimed materials, especially wood. His award-winning project include the Longfu Life Experience Center and the Luontuwan Pergola. He often strives to counter the quick-and-cheap construction characteristics of governmental bodies with the smart use of local materials and craft skills, and with the reuse and recyclability of materials.
Yuntai Mountain is located in the Yuntai Geo Park, a popular tourist attraction with its impressive rugged nature including Yuntai Waterfall which at 314 metres (1,030 ft) said to be the tallest in China. Tuija Seipell
Images: Weiqi Jin