Denmark meets China: Scandinavian design gets a retail platform in Changzhou
Young creators Esben Yan and Seamus Wang – together, Rå Space – met while studying at the Design School Kolding in Denmark. After graduating, the pair, greatly inspired by working in the Scandinavian design field, made a plan to dedicate a space to the theme in China. That’s the genesis story behind Råhuset, a showroom platform for Nordic brands in Changzhou.
Råhuset isn’t just a retail space for products from the likes of Hay, Normann Copenhagen, Muuto and Georg Jensen, but also, according to Yan and Wang, an ‘integrated art exhibition hall’. The studio’s respect for Scandinavian design revolves around the belief that ‘Nordic design is not only a design style or language, but is also about the Nordic people’s attitude and yearning for life, art and family’. Yan and Wang’s ultimate goal is to create an interpreted, minimalistic brand that spreads that message to Chinese design consumers.
Because a restaurant previously inhabited the space, it was divided into several functional blocks. The designers removed the original façade and proceeded to rearrange the floor plan for increased openness and more direct sightlines. They envisioned a ‘softly futuristic’ room to juxtapose the materials and characteristics of the products on display. Stainless steel dominates the bright, LED-lit interiors, where chairs and other products sit atop mirrored steel blocks. This way, clients can see – and appreciate – the merchandise from every angle.