Visitors are welcomed by an overwhelming sense of industrial space inside the Shanghai store, which serves as a window for customers to interact with the X11 brand.

Key features 

Inside a vast space that feels both stylish and futuristic BloomDesign has created a retail store concept begging to be explored. The two-storey space, which is located on the ground and underground floors of an industrial building, houses China’s largest collection of toys with diverse categories including car models, comic books, plushies and blind box figurines. 

There is slightly less variety when it comes to the interior design. The designers have employed a minimal yet visually striking material palette of glass, silver matte stainless steel and exposed grey concrete. Glass has been used to help create an environment full of light play but also to blur the distinction between the different levels. By removing the ground floor completely the independence of the basement and the upper floor is broken entirely. 

Despite a lack of distinction between the two floors, a grid pattern echoed throughout the space brings a sense of order to proceedings. Its linearity balances out the store’s labyrinth-like navigation with a leitmotif that draws from the building’s pixelated façade – a perfect nod to its retro contents. It also inspires the tiled flooring and the strip LED lighting, which serve to highlight key areas and features including a six-m-high shelf in the center. Interspersed with these new elements are existing features, like the reinforced concrete beams and columns, their grey tones given flair by the cartoonish accents of hundreds of toys and figurines. 

Frame’s take 

By taking advantage of the original interior, BloomDesign has created a spatial experience for X11 that communicates the brand’s attitude and values. It blurs the distinction between levels to overwhelm visitors with a sense of physical scale and create a fully immersive experience. It’s a layout that might not be the most sustainable in terms of materials, and it might not make the most of its space in terms of merchandising, but it certainly feels unreal, almost like you’ve entered another world, which is a feat well-suited to the store’s target audience of comic book fanatics and those who appreciate fantasy.