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Baoman Abalone Showroom by AD ARCHITECTURE

As a medium for brand presentation, commercial space often requires systematic scenario design in accordance with products' attributes, while presenting distinctive aesthetics with perceptible visual tension and emotions, so as to create a deep connection with consumers.


Photographer: Ouyang Yun

The starting point of the project's design is to unfold narratives based on "the charm of the ingredients". With rich experience in designing upscale restaurants and art exhibition spaces, AD ARCHITECTURE approached the project in an unconventional way, to create fresh experiences in the space.


"This is a 'product' that falls between commerce and "self", and I was immersed in the fun of exploration from the design process to the outcome. The design needed to break away from the mode of traditional dry seafood shop to create a brand new sensory experience, while echoing the established attributes of the space and conveying the brand's image.

It is this ambiguity that inspired the design thinking: it is a mass scene of the 'self'."

— Xie Peihe


Shantou, a coastal city in the heart of Guangdong Province, is endowed with natural resources that cultivate plentiful aquatic products, providing abundant ingredients for the self-contained cuisine of Chaoshan region.

The client, an expert in abalone farming, grew up in a family making a living from the sea. He is committed to environmental protection and the research and development of abalone farming. The King Abalone he breeds brings a major innovation to the industry. The client has established a new brand "Baoman". This project is his private showroom of dried abalone, located in the heart of the city.

Spatial strength

Irregular geometric blocks of varying forms create an impactful visual effect in the small-scale space.

The main function of the first floor space is for product display, with the structures emphasizing a sense of strength. The various areas are seemingly separate, yet interconnected to offer a holistic sensory experience. The free form of structures gives the space a sense of conflict and harmony.

Uniqueness & interdependence

Objects shape the space and its spirit by the action of light. Light and objects are interdependent. The designers resorted to light to better outline the form of the space to subtly impact its mood, and thus to create a sense of self-consistent presence rather than being an independent system, let alone an abrupt opposition.

Light interacts with the forms in the space in a functional and behavioral way, generating new spatial moods. This is a process in which all elements are distinct from yet dependent on each other.

The same is true of human relationships, which are all about balance. Whether being retracted or relaxed, radical or conservative, directing towards the future or being relevant to the present, all signs point to this world without borders. What the designers wanted to convey is a 'private' individuality within a universal concept.

Sense of heaviness

Walls clad in stone-texture paint contrast with the metal materials, injecting a sense of luxury into the comfortable space. Soft light accentuates the sense of weight in the space. The "floating" blocks strike a balance between heaviness and lightness, adding fun to the space.

The process of designing a commercial space is to think about the future trends of the market, and the designers need to imagine how to transcend established boundaries. In this project, the design team tried to break through the conventional image of seafood. Through the integration of natural light and material textures, the design is intended to stimulate "accidental" behaviors and bring people closer to the space, to endow the space with the power of cohesion.

The original, innovation design is an exploration of spatial status, rather than a directional future.


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