Imagine a place where the ’80s and ’90s lived on, where cassettes and CDs, flashy colors and bustling, geometric patterns existed in blissful suspended animation. That’s exactly how Foshan, China’s “CD Street” once was: a haven for Generation X nostalgia. As the region undergoes modern redevelopment and old neighborhood designs are quietly laid to rest, food and beverage retailer Hi-Pop Tea (Foshan, China) stands to bring a flavor of times past to the destination.
“The location is on an old street full of nostalgia and memories of childhood,” says Chen Xie-jin, design director of Construction Union (Foshan, China), the firm charged with the concept’s creation. “It’s a place where post-’80s and -’90s [locals] grew up and would never forget … Now it’s not as prosperous as before.”
Aiming to inject a dash of trendiness while also attracting young clientele or those longing for a dose of the past, the space itself is a direct reference to old-school graphic styles and references.
Guests first enter into a bright, lemon-yellow room that connects to a darker area toward the back. The black scribble pattern on the floor throughout the first section, extending partly up the wall, is reminiscent of doodles one might make in a notebook during class, and decoratives that look like straws floating on the ceiling help connect the two distinctly colored spaces. Oversized lampshades and drawings of (cute) monsters add visual interest to the entry, while the back room features black subway tiles, globular pendant lights, metal chairs and neon signage. Other details, like a bevy of tactile surfaces, help tie the theme into a cohesive package.
One of the biggest challenges for the design team was fashioning the extensive, and intricately detailed, ceiling element: “The ceiling art (straws) combined our design elements with the brand image,” says Xie-jin. “The design concept was derived from the cool feeling [of using straws] to drink carbonated soft drinks during childhood.”
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