For its first store in the Japanese city of Nagoya, Swedish fashion brand Acne Studios conceived a concept for an atmospheric space that would merge the feeling of high and low tech. To realize the 275-sq-m store, Acne collaborated with Barcelona practice Arquitectura-G, who balanced contrasting tactile elements to achieve the desired visual effect.

The walls and stately columns form a ‘rough shell’ that visually open to Nagoya’s streets. Contained inside the cave-like space are three stainless-steel partitions that serve to organize the retail area – paper-thin, the precise panels and their shelves are contrasted against custom-made wool carpeting that’s rough in appearance but soft in touch. Two podiums emerge from the flooring, able to be used as seating or for display.

Stainless steel rails have long been a signature touch in Acne Studios spaces, but, in Nagoya, the features take on an imperfect, organic form unique to the store; mirrors and display trays are crafted from solid polished sheets of the metal. Left exposed with all functional elements, the eye-catching ceiling is studded with bespoke Mushroom lighting by French designer Benoit Lalloz.

‘The central theme of the project is the play of contrasts at different levels, being that the main characteristic of the store is the clash between high-tech and low-tech,’ explains a spokesperson for Arquitectura-G. ‘All the strategic decisions and material choices were made seeking a sophisticated balance between roughness and delicateness, chaos and order.’