The inspiration came from working with confectionery pioneer Pierre Hermé: the owner of Aimé Pâtisserie wanted a sweet, sophisticated venue that went beyond confectionery’s traditional canon. The project was commissioned to the local Lukstudio, a team headed by Christina Luk that already had a proven track record of smart creativity in the neurotic world of retail and catering.
Light, creativity, freshness, rationality, hospitality: these are the features that come immediately to mind when looking at the design team’s project.
Aimé is a top-of-the-range flagship store and the shop’s design challenge was to be distinctive within the chaos of Shanghai’s thousand venues, and at the same time managing to target the wealthier clientele.
The color white dominates (the walls, the display counter, the tables) and communicates sophistication and style. It charms the customer with the feeling of having a candy to unwrap, a precious gift to discover. The message reaches you right from the start and gives the venue a real sense of physicality.
The shop window has been created using four translucent layers, obtaining a diaphanous effect which attracts passers-by and inevitable draws them inside.
The view from the entrance heightens both emotion and curiosity: on the left there is a small foyer with a rather long, narrow counter (in white, of course) set up on white columns and equipped with orderly stools. A quick, discreet architectural insert which animates the ambience without turning it into a ‘consumption area’.
You then reach the white display counter, made up partly of display windows and partly of tiny bespoke staircases, hosting the maison’s creations and the inevitable macaroons. The wall behind the counter is a backlit modular system with dozens of aluminum circles bent in the shape of an L, with an alternation of white and grey. The aluminum circles have been oriented in all possible directions for a playful impact of light and shadow: the many Ls that function as shelves host colorful Aimé packages, in a clever sequence of colors and dimensions.
With every step you take inside Aimé you discover something new, though the interior design is rigorous and doesn’t yield to the temptation of outlandish décor, showcasing the personality and coherence of someone who knows the right choice had been made. The wall’s modular system extends to the ceiling and accommodates sections with small spotlights, hiding the security systems which are, as is customary, hideous to watch.
The integration between furniture and lighting is one of Aimé Pâtisserie’s winning features, making it a true little gem for its architectural good taste, a sweet, fascinating experience for all the senses.