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    Picture: Sybarite/SKP

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    Picture: Sybarite/SKP

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    Picture: Sybarite/SKP

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    Picture: Sybarite/SKP

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    Picture: Sybarite/SKP

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    Picture: Sybarite/SKP

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Sybarite completes second luxury SKP store

Jez Abbott
08 Jan 2019

Design firm Sybarite has completed a second luxury department store in China for the retail operator SKP.

The design totals 250,000 sqm across 20 storeys and houses global luxury retail brands as well as domestic brands. Materials used within Rendez-Vous at SKP Beijing, the first store which opened in 2017, have been carried through to the Rendez-Vous store in Xi’an to create a distinctive brand image.

Sybarite sourced marble from a quarry in naturally occurring light and dark tones of grey for the floor and columns to form the basis of a simple material palette that instils warmth and makes each area of the concept feel intimate. Sybarite designed black lacquered steel and walnut shelves that frame the bookstore, as well as all furniture, including a series of coloured anodized aluminium drum-shaped tables in various heights that create a grouping and narrative for products.

Torquil McIntosh, co-founder of Sybarite, said: “We wanted to create a series of tables that are like sculptures in their own right, and when grouped together create a clever topography of merchandise”.

Throughout, spaces are punctuated by bold colour. Blue is the main accent colour and it defines the Rendez-Vous concept store brand image. The Rendez-Vous blue has been used across vertical spaces and ceiling panels. The dining area includes a red back-painted glass to punctuate the area and draw visitors from a distance to explore the space.

Lighting plays a key part in creating zones with different atmospheres. The bar and seating areas include softer, atmospheric overhead lighting in contrast to the more directional lighting in the bookstore where the lighting picks out the book covers, which are presented like artworks. Sybarite designed large-scale pendant lights which act as zone-illuminators.

The two Rendez-Vous floors are linked by a grand staircase that has been designed to feel welcoming, incorporating intimate areas within it to read as well as delicate planting to create an area of calm. A dramatic cluster of lights designed by Sybarite creates a sculptural installation within the centre of the staircase.

Torquil McIntosh said: “You find you really want to use it in order to explore. The staircase, flanked with books and with incredible views of the old wall of Xi’an, takes you on an inviting journey from one floor to another.”

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