Huadou Concept Store

Location    Mitte, Berlin
State         Built
Year           2019-2020
Typology   Cafe, Retail, Workshop

Huadou Soy Concept Store - a multi-functional space with cafe, flagship store, exhibition space -  is a part of the ongoing research of ALTER THE AIR of rediscovering traditions from pre industrial time and adapting them to a contemporary urban lifestyle. The design is also based on the field investigation in a famous tofu town -- Xiba, in Sichuan Province of China. (see more)

Huadou initiates a vegan healthy and environment friendly lifestyle that revolves around making tofu at home and consuming other organic soy products. Guided by the slogan “Let soy be a culture”,  here visitors can experience both traditional and innovative soy culture.

The Concept store is located in the area around the Rosenthaler Platz, the favourite district of young fashion and design boutiques, and has a modest area of 90m2. Taking advantage of the two different ceiling heights (4m and 2.8m) and three rectangular columns, a newly built drywall was added to create a multi-functional space.

The area under the 4m high ceiling provides a space for activities and presentation, including a workshop space, a shop and coffee serving counters. At the end of the space, opposite the entrance, the spacious workshop table is positioned. To its left is the newly built drywall with product shelves, access to backstage serving areas, and an inbuilt, lit up  show window for the exhibition of the traditional stone mill - a symbol for traditional soy culture prior to industrialisation. During workshops, customers can use the big stone mill to make soymilk. The two counters at the right hand side of the entrance are designated for serving coffee and other products.

Under the lower ceiling height of 2.8m is a five meter long window facade facing the street, which fosters the visual interaction between the street and indoor activities. Furnished with tables and bamboo chairs, this area serves as a seating space for guests, in which they can simultaneously appreciate both the street view and interior of the store.

Furthermore, the interior is planned in such a way to enable activities like the workshops to be visible from the street as well. As such, the place embodies a show window for soy culture in the city context.

The materials contribute to the expression of Huadou’s eco and natural concept. The four meter tall bamboo pillars of the modular shelves define the rhythm of the space and atmosphere.  Yet, they are not just decoration but actually bear the weight of shelves. Moreover, the bamboo pillars and their joints are prefabricated in the factory in advance, which enormously speeds up the assembling process on site.

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