Artifacts at the Breeze Centre in Taipei gives a new design language to an environment which shelters lifestyle products. Designed by Michelle Wei, Artifacts is a store which renders the design sensibilities of a museum to a retail venture.
Standing at the store-front an x-ray vision of colours beckons. The facade itself proposes such an effect. Five layers of transparent glass with different patterns sandblasted onto each one of them gives a 3D depth to the entrance and showcases the interior in partial tones. Such an introduction reminisces to stained glass Renaissance churches. A design style is established at the facade itself and sets the tone for the rest of the store. A continuity of form can be sensed with a semi-hexagonal entrance looking towards a hexagonal window display straight ahead in the cone of vision. Once past the window display with an expectation of a unique retail experience, a spectrum of progressing colours treats the eye. A design inspired from 20th century museums and theatres, the display styles and store articulation adhere to it. A sunset theme cruises the eye through the length of the store. The colour tones blur from yellow to orange to red and finally purple. The glass tables which create this effect are designed of different heights which creates an interesting montage of colours to perceive an x-ray-like effect. The products as well seem to be overlapping which adds to the illusionary see- through effect. The design of these displays is museum inspired and suggests a premium character of the products. Adapting a singular display material attitude is key to the effect it renders. Quite a simplistic approach, but when expressed with immense creativity showcases a result which stuns the naked eye. A minimalist display of products declares a stylish statement for the store. The design of the store stands out in such a scenario bewitching a positive image on the customer. For such a store, more than a focus on the product itself, a well groomed experience calls for more points. People are in the store for the products and they are definitely going to focus on it. The store’s visual treat is an added delight which contributes to their decision making. Also, the sophisticated design manipulates the customer’s perception of the product. If the luxurious tone of the store was not yet clear, the VIP area leaves no room for ambiguity. A dramatic entry welcomes the customer as if entering a theatre. Red velvet curtains tied
up at the ends make way for entry. The soft lighting, ample space and comfort seating vibe of opulence. The luxury factor has been thought into detail with red arm chairs and the fluffy red carpet. The colour red in itself symbolises a premium atmosphere.
The nature of the products on display here can be easily adjudged. The prismatic coloured stones mounted on the wall run a quizzical
air. “We have created a dramatic effect in this area by designing the wall-mounted TVs in the shape of diamonds cut with stainless steel in a mirrored finish, with a video playing on the screens creating a kaleidoscope of reflections,” says Michelle Wei of MW Design answering the intrigue. The trial rooms are located near the VIP section so that every customer would have to walk the length of the store to try out their garments. This also gives them a glance into the VIP section which they would have otherwise not bothered to go into. The trial rooms with their ample space and rich purple curtains convey royalty. The purple carpet below complements the look. Agate, a rich looking rock with its rare patterns has ingrained beauty in it. Its use in the store for light fixtures in the VIP area ceiling and coat hooks in the trial rooms patronise the luxury element of the store. They
are carefully chosen pieces and exclusively designed by MW Design for the Artifacts store. The store portrays an overall signature of freedom of space expressed in the transparencies exuded through various elements and a gesture of harmonic progression in the store through the subtleties of the colours. Luxury well-defined!