atelier tree brings life to beijing storefront with golden heart installation

atelier tree brings life to beijing storefront with golden heart installation

in an old hutong building, located in west xinglong street, beijing, a golden heart shines through its windows. atelier tree created an installation for the second store of poppee, a quiet two-level shop on the entrance of a hutong. the owner of the shop fell in love with the location in beijing’s old town, and the designers got inspired by his heart-moving sentiment for the store’s newest centerpiece. the heart also represents the poppee’s concept of pursuing a beautiful and romantic life, and infusing vitality into the old hutong.



atelier tree‘s design for the poppee west xilong store follows the skeleton of traditional architecture, and grows into a contemporary accessory showcase, while bringing life at a hutong cross. in this large-scale exhibition case, the whole golden heart is like the hutong’s shining jewel seen from far away. when seen up close, the accessories exhibited are the featuring star, but those split sections of the golden heart are merged into the background of brand accessories, becoming significant elements of the store’s inner space. those naturally presented accessories, the heart, and this traditional two-level building support each other in different views, and highlight their brilliance for people or street in different aspects.




atelier tree’s renovation put the history and present of this two-level building into one installation. it was dismantled into a street-scale showcase and displays a dynamic process that looks like jewelry. the building’s two street-facing elevations are two large transparent wood-frame glass windows, opening their heart towards the street, just as the installation pours over to the exterior.keeping the original elements as much as possible, metal components replace only the broken parts of the exterior wall. in addition, the sunshade layer inside the external glass window, which is connected with metal wires, subtly changes the psychological segmentation of inner and outer space, and also connects the scenery and eyesight inside and outside.




comparing to the carefulness for renovating external elevation, the installation of the heart-shaped object is even more rigorous. its free shape considers both multiple functions and profound meaning of romantic wishes. the heart can be seen from different views on the street, and also works as a component that both separates and encloses interior space. the first level of the small building is the main displaying area for jewelries, whose showcases are undulating along the surrounding walls.




the lower part of the heart hovers from the ceiling, inclines towards the external glass window, and floats between the ceiling and the showcases on the wall. as the wavy surfaces deliberately differentiate the space, the original rectangles, tedious and repetitive,evolve into various small spaces with different enclosures, which naturally restrict the views. on the second level, half of the room exhibits accessories and the rest is designed as offices. the upper part of the heart is positioned right in the middle of room.




the golden heart separates the exhibition area from the offices, in which a long work desk is hidden by the heart’s slightly curved shape. the heart’s upper part is contouring and grandiose, helping store staff stay out of customers’ view, while filtering plenty of natural light into the office to avoid the narrowness of an enclosed space. the overall surface of the heart’s both parts is broken into pieces of metal tiles, placed in different areas to block part of the lights while letting the rest pass through.




as light going through the glass windows, hits the metal pieces, the textured walls, floor, and ceiling tiles, the small building radiates with a flashy golden light. however, the design still respects the spirit of nature and tradition found in beijing’s old town. the beam plate between first and second level doesn’t only connect the heart, but also separates it. the heart’s upper half is above the second floor, while the other half is hanging over the first floor’s ceiling.



walking through through the golden installation, guests are reminded of traveling among the lu mountains, and only the people’s memories complete the shape of the heart. the designers attempted to create an absolutely rare and precious moment. the heart’s shape can not be blocked by the reflection of glass, and the complete heart belongs to the outside street since it can only be seen at specific time and from a specific view.



project info:


design studio: atelier tree

chief architect: casen chiong

team: casen chiong, dan zeng, lei du,qianhan zhao,baihuibi(intern),liuna(intern)

program: architecture renovation, commercial exhibition, installation design, interior design building

area: 90m²

client: beijing bodi trade co.,ltd

construction team: beijing boer feifan decoration design co. ltd.

processing and installation of metal tiles and metal devices: beijing chuangtuo xinsheng stainless steel co., ltd.

project location: west xinglong street, dongcheng district, beijing, china

design date: 2018.7.28 – 2018.9.28

completion date: january 2019

photographer: bo lv


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

edited by: cristina gomez | designboom

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