What retailers can learn from this immersive health clinic in Beijing

To give our audience eyes and ears into the live judging sessions that took place at Frame Awards 2020, we're sharing coverage of the insightful jury conversations that decided the winning projectsBelow, we celebrate the Single-Brand Store of the Year: Exhibition of Frozen by Waterfrom Design. Find the full collection of reports in our upcoming May/June 2020 issue, Frame 134. 

Beijing – The jury was torn between two very different projects in the Single-Brand Store of the Year category. In the end, Waterfrom Design’s Exhibition of Frozen edged out Blue Bottle Coffee Seongsu by Schemata Architects, which the jury called a ‘great combination of architecture and design, whose careful consideration of the customer experience ultimately elevates the brand’.

The winners from Waterfrom were praised for delivering ‘a poetic expression and memorable experience’ with their interior of a retail health clinic in Beijing. ‘It delivers traditional cultural cues on a contemporary scale.’ Indeed, the design team wanted to offer a new take on Traditional Chinese Medicine, forgoing such tropes as heavy wooden cabinetry and the aromas of pungent herbs in favour of something more light and ethereal. Herbs do feature, for instance, but are encased within a glowing glass grid instead of apothecary bottles.

Jury member Natacha Prihnenko of Hermès described Exhibition of Frozen as ‘monastic, deep and timeless’.

‘If these herbs are indeed used in treatments, then that’s a beautiful gesture,’ said jury member Andreas Bozarth Fornell, founder of Specific Generic. Natacha Prihnenko, windows and art buying director for Hermès, was impressed that Waterfrom ‘didn’t just repeat tradition but took it further – and reinventing tradition can be the most difficult thing’. Aēsop creative director Marsha Meredith agreed, adding that ‘the thought underpins the design’. While Meredith did feel the aesthetic was a bit cold, Bozarth Fornell appreciated that such a space is located within the bustling metropolis of Beijing: ‘It’s a fantastic contrast from the city.’

waterfrom.com

Frame Awards 2020's Retail category was proudly sponsored by Chemetal. The People's Choice award went to Freitag Sweat-Yourself-Shop by Freitag.

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