Using gold in a space? It can still be elegantly minimalistic – here's how

Beijing – Sometimes the obvious solution is the best fit. Taking into consideration that the function of Poppee – a store in Beijing’s Sanlitun area – is the presentation and sale of jewellery handcrafted by various independent makers, the designers at Atelier Tree based their concept on individual boxes that pop out from their surroundings like gemstones on a gold band.

The separate display cases are the studio’s way of ‘showing respect to every work of art.’ More importantly, however, they unify an array of assorted pieces and, in so doing, ‘strengthen the visual image of the collective store.’

Shifts prompted by light and time constantly change the visitor’s experience

The boxes hover beneath a suspended metal grid that the designers refer to as the ‘golden cloud.’ Variations in the grid’s depth alter the passage of light from above, allowing customers to detect fluctuations in illumination and shadow, while catching flashes of light meeting metal – moments that heighten the jewellery metaphor in the modest 32-sq-m space.

‘When visitors walk into the store, they encounter ambiguity in both its volume and its borders, as the cloud continually produces new visual forms,’ said Casen Chiong of Atelier Tree. ‘Shifts prompted by light and time constantly change the visitor’s experience.’

This piece was originally featured on St-W 116. You can purchase a copy . Interested in other uses of gold? Take a look at these ones: In Paris, a new Japanese skincare store promotes anti-aging like fine wineOut with the old, in with the bold – Normann Copenhagen goes for goldBrazil has a new gold rush – at a place meant to make you smileAcne goes gold for its largest store to date.

More from this issue

St-W 116

The May/June issue of St-W is a special one, as we celebrate our 20th anniversary. We present 20 designers and brands – from household names to emerging talents – that we expect to lead the way in spatial design in years to come. We showcase 20 interior projects that represent 20 strategies for designing spaces, and go beyond the conventional scope of design to find 20 visions that frame the future.

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