Reflecting China’s booming pet industry, the design of Guangzhou’s Bibu Pet Store blends commercial and community functions.

Key features

Bibu Pet Store is a one-stop shop for owners and their furry companions, offering retail, boarding and care, training and vet services. With the goal of devising a ‘groundbreaking’ pet space, the team at One Fine Day Studio & Partners envisioned a multifunctional plan combining commercial functionality and community areas. That’s why the 2001: Space Odyssey-inspired interior is also home to Doppio, a café inviting relaxation and play between pets and people. Located in high-end condo building Gaode Mansion, the Guangzhou store is targeted at visitors to nearby cultural and commercial venues, like the K11 Art Mall and International Financial Centre, Guangdong Museum and Guangzhou Opera House.

To achieve Bibu’s retrofuturistic look, the designers conceived an LED-lighting scheme connecting the entire 630-sq-m, two-storey space. Eggshell white, forest green and slate blue impart a clinical, minimalistic feel, while herringbone tile flooring brings warmth back into the mix. Square compartments, slim-leg tables and tulip chairs nod to furnishings typically featuring in sci-fi films. Eschewing sharp surfaces for rounded corners and anti-collision soft convex surfaces supports the mid-century vibe, but most importantly keeps pets injury-free while visiting the store. 

Frame’s take

By 2023, pet-industry revenue in China is expected to increase by 800 per cent from its 2013 rate, valuing the market at nearly €67.1 billion. Designers, naturally, have jumped to respond to this growth. Last year, popular café chain Heytea unveiled a Shenzhen space specifically created to accommodate customers with pets. Meanwhile, Atelier Gom was working on a pet-friendly hotel in Aranya. There has also been an influx of retailers hoping to appeal by pet-loving millennial and Gen Z consumers by making their locations receptive to furry visitors. Bibu Pet Store supports the notion that there will continue to be many new spaces – and typologies – that emerge from this evolution in pet ownership. At one point, such facilities could turn from novelty to simply the norm.