2023年4月29日，位于上海的超大型城市改造项目“蟠龙天地”正式开业。TOPOS & MEEM联合设计的MINGSI主力店也在这座都市古镇中正式对外营业，并创造了日营业额破8万的销售记录。
On April 29th, 2023, the mega urban renovation project "Panlong Tiandi" officially opened in Shanghai. MINGSI flagship store, designed by TOPOS & MEEM, also opened its doors in this urbanized ancient town, creating a record-breaking daily sale of over RMB 80,000.
▼室内，Interior © Kelvin Li
MINGSI, Theory of Brand Evolution
Lee, the brand founder, had planned to open a store in Panlong Tiandi since early last year. It was an excellent opportunity for the brand exposure. However, due to its remote location and a new type of commercial complex, he was also concerned about its sales performance. We began to contemplate the evolutionary form of the brand's DNA in open street blocks.
MINGSI is an ever-evolving "ongoing" brand. If brand consistency is a common sense, then having a unique face for every store challenges that norm. This is our third year of collaboration with MINGSI: in 2021, MINGSI was the invisible cities from Italo Calvino's novels; in 2022, MINGSI was the garden of forking paths from Jorge Luis Borges' tales; and in the beginning of 2023, the neo-formalism originally from the classical spirit in architecture became MINGSI's spatial manifesto in the post-pandemic era. 在设计中寻找治愈感（looking for a sense of healing in design），是TOPOS & MEEM为MINGSI定义的品牌态度。基于“温暖，不止于家”的品牌内核，我们希望MINGSI HOUSE能够在不同的时空和场所，营造出似曾相识并具有温度的诗意场景。
“Looking a sense of healing in design” is the brand attitude defined by TOPOS & MEEM for MINGSI. Based on the brand's core value of “More Than Living”, we aimed to create the sense of déjà vu and poetic scenes in each different time and space through MINGSI HOUSE.
▼看不见的城市，Invisible Cities © TOPOS DESIGN ▼小径分岔的花园，the Garden of Forking Paths © TOPOS DESIGN
▼标识设计，Signage Design © MEEM DESIGN
Between Roof and Earth
As one of Shanghai's 32 historical conservation areas, Panlong Tiandi is also one of the first completed projects of urban village transformation. Its long history can be traced back to the Sui Dynasty. Panlong Tiandi represents the future "city" with open street blocks, a new type of commercial settlement and urban lifestyle. Compared to traditional malls in the city center, facing different speed and energy, MINGSI needs to take a moment to slow down. With neighboring competitors and independent sellers, the cruel law of business competition lurks in the gentle and watery ambiance of this ancient water town.
The project is located in the main pedestrian street of Panlong Tiandi's south market, a newly constructed building cluster that originated from the typology of water town residences and adopted contemporary construction techniques. The single-story detached buildings along three sides of the street have a six-meter-high sloping roof, providing exceptional spatial qualities in both horizontal and vertical dimensions. "Between Roof and Earth," a volumetric reinforced concrete box, how to fill and empty the blank-leaving became the design clue.
▼项目位置，Site Plan © TOPOS DESIGN
▼建筑轴测，Isometric Drawings © TOPOS DESIGN
▼沿街立面，Street Façade © Kelvin Li
▼窗外夜景，Window Display at Night © Kelvin Li
Firstly, we abstracted the volume using light. The top of the lobby with the sloping roof has a net height of 6 meters, while the rear area, due to the equipment platform above the roof, only has a net height of 3 meters. We provided different sectional designs and lighting systems for this continuous space with a 3-meter height difference.
The sloping roof ceiling, hiding the MEP equipment, consists of eight parallel giant translucent membranes, filling the front lobby with homogeneous and soft daylight. The flat roof ceiling in the rear area features a matrix arrangement of 20 custom-made crystal lights, simulating the warm dusk light with a color temperature of 3000K. The interplay of light and shadow in high and low creates a parallel space-time.
▼前场的坡屋顶天花，Front Lobby Under Slope Roof Ceiling © Kelvin Li
▼前场日景，Front Lobby with Sunlight © Kelvin Li
▼剖透视图，Sectional Perspective © TOPOS DESIGN
▼前场与后场，Lobby and Rear Area © Kelvin Li
▼后场的平天花，Rear Area with Flat Ceiling© Kelvin Li
沿袭西方古典建筑设计的布扎体系（Beaux-Arts）有一套关于整体与局部的设计方法，即parti et poche。其中，parti可以理解为空间类型或范式，poche可以解释为实墙内的空间和功能。我们从古老的设计方法中获取灵感：延续现状结构，我们扩充了五道墙体为体块，用柚木包裹导圆角的矩形体，分别容纳了4个发光的衣架，2个胶囊状的更衣间，以及镶嵌手工砖的壁龛和储物间。
Beneath the sloping roof, there sits a huge central wooden table combining storage, cashier, and display, in line with MINGSI's sales strategy of "no cashier." With unconventional dimensions of 5 meters in length and 3 meters in width, this familiar yet unobtrusive warm mass floats on the earth. Thus, load-bearing walls disappear; the wooden blocks in both functional and visual growth make the interior space to flow harmoniously.
Adopting the architectural methodology of parti et poche from the Beaux-Arts tradition, which emphasizes the relationship between the whole and the parts, we expanded the five existing walls into architectural blocks. Rectangular forms wrapped in teak wooden veneer were used to enclose four illuminated clothes-hangers, two capsule-shaped changing rooms, as well as the sink and the storage room finished with handcrafted brown bricks.
▼墙体生成图解，Diagram of Partitions © TOPOS DESIGN
▼室内轴测图,Isometric Drawings of Interior © TOPOS DESIGN
▼细节：壁龛与洗手台，Details：Niche & Sink © Kelvin Li
▼细节：壁龛与洗手台，Details：Niche & Sink © Kelvin Li
▼细节：柚木衣架，Details：Teakwood Hangers © Kelvin Li
▼细节：试衣镜，Details：Dressing Mirrors © Kelvin Li
▼细节：衣架与标牌，Details：Hanger & Label © Kelvin Li
▼细节：试衣间，Details：Fitting Room © Kelvin Li
“商业的本质是交易，一切的商业起点是让消费者获益。消费者买我们的而不买其他家的，是因为在我们这里获益更多。”搭建恰到好处的场景，乃至让场景成为产品的一部分，是设计让消费者获益的价值所在。TOPOS & MEEM为品牌设计的三条原则，成为了MINGSI建立视觉与空间体系的底层逻辑：
"The essence of business is transactions, and the starting point of all business is to benefit the consumers. Consumers choose us over others because they gain more from us." Building the proper scenes in supervising design, even making the scenes become the product, is the value of design lies in benefiting consumers. The three principles that TOPOS & MEEM designed for the brand became the logic for establishing the visual and spatial system of MINGSI:
1. Urban Architecture: Interior space is the poché of the urban fabric, providing a private domain that engages with the urban public space.
2. Form as Media: The facade serves as the primary interface facing consumers, creating a brand-centric, declarative media facade.
3. Spatial Narrative: Space needs to be built upon the brand's script and story, constructing a narrative space with memorable scenes.
During the trial operation period, our design team invited photographer Kelvin to the site e just after its completion, expecting an empty place with few costumers. However, there was a bustling crowd. The store manager even said, “We thought there wouldn't be many people during the trial operation period, but unexpectedly, our fitting rooms are not enough...”
As night falls and the ancient town rests peacefully, MINGSI HOUSE becomes a lighthouse between roof and earth.
▼门头夜景,Façade at Night© Kelvin Li
▼平面布局图，Plan © TOPOS DESIGN
业主单位：The Mingsi House
TOPOS DESIGN 成立于2015年，由一群不同专业背景，相同价值观的建筑师与设计师创立。我们不拘泥于设计的尺度或类型，我们关心生活的具体，而非概念的虚构。我们不执着于过度的设计，而尝试以更优雅和恰当的设计介入城市更新的空间叙事中。我们相信，现实世界只有一个，而设计能提供无穷的想象力。