in a city as densely populated as shanghai, every nook and cranny is utilized, and the recently opened all shop proves just that. set up by a group of taiwanese business partners who saw an increasing demand in the local market for coveted international sportswear, related urban garments and sneakers. all has picked a ground floor unit of just 20 sqm. [215 sq.ft.] on wuxing lu, a tree-lined street in what once used to be the city's french concession. local architecture practice linehouse entirely stripped the retail space, laying bare the structure's concrete shell. a series of white vertical panels have been installed diagonally, and which continue as stainless steel strips on the floor and ceiling. the configuration has been conceptualized as such to enable ultimate exposure of the merchandise to passers by. slabs of mirrors are placed in between the panels and conceal storage space and a fitting room. as said, all stocks a selection of mostly imported brands, including nike, undefeated, asics, stüssy and golden denim. mind you, a related online store is to be launched very soon to reach a broader demographic in mainland china. location: 94 wuxing lu [xu jia hui].
for the first time in iittle over a decade, fine art photographer wolfgang tillmans  lands a museum exhibition in japan. the german-born lensman shot to fame in the early 1990s, capturing britain's exuberant youth culture in all its forms on camera, and gain a cult status with this specific focus and style. ever since, his creative output has been heavily influenced by contemporary themes and issues such as sexuality, politics and economics. tillmans' new exhibition, entitled your body is yours, opens today at the national museum of art in osaka, and presents 200 of his works, ranging from photographs he has shot in the past to his most recent photographs. the exhibition space has been designed by the artist himself and will also feature book for architects, a video installation he especially created for last year's venice architecture biennale [on through sep 23]. location: 4-2-55 nakanoshima [nakanoshima].
although fairly similar in atmosphere, this particular slice of cuauhtémoc has long stood in the shadow of mexico city's more fashionable residential neighbourhoods polanco, condesa and roma. but as of late, the tide has turned and it could eventually join the ranks of the aforementioned, thanks to the recent opening – and the expected spin-off effect for that matter – of a stellar new establishment that pulls the cool crowds to its doorstep. opened years ago as a budget property, hotel jardín amazonas was more loved for its low rates than its comfort or available facilities. let's just say the previous owners never really saw the potential – the location alone, just off paseo de la reforma, the city's iconic thoroughfare, is a major plus – and the hotel gradually slid into a derelict state before it closed down little over a decade ago.
but luckily, it has been given a brand new lease on life, and now known as hotel carlota, it has become the toast of the town in hipster circles. responsible for the remarkable turnaround is ignacio cadena, a local designer with slew of high-profile projects under his belt. and although cadena created the new hotel concept, he couldn't have pulled it off without the expertise of architect javier sánchez. interestingly, instead of totally erasing the building's original lay-out, sánchez quite brilliantly rearranged it to fit modern standards and utilize its full potential. the new understated aesthetic oozes a distinctly modern vibe, subtly revealing an older blueprint, but at the same time it also firmly anchors the complex in the neighbourhood's urban context.
needless to say, the 36 guestrooms and suites exemplary showcases, each featuring furniture piecess by local design collective la metropolitana – mind you, they furnished the entire hotel – and unique art pieces by emerging mexican artists. the strict division between private and public spaces is intentionally blurred and has resulted in a new, more communal sense of hospitality, which of course, still allows retreat and privacy. an additional trump card of hotel carlota is a cool eponymous restaurant with an outdoor section overlooking the patio, and it's this particularly facility that pulls in the cool crowds in droves from across town. helmed by celebrated chefs joaquin cardoso and sofia cortina, the restaurant proposes a menu of market-to-table dishes, all made from the best local ingredients, and served in an unpretentious way. needless to say that the setting adds up to a contemporary culinary experience that's unique in the mexican capital. location: calle río amazonas 73 [cuauhtémoc].
© cadena y asociados / photography: camila cossio
hot on the heels of last month's store opening in munich, viu's first ever expansion abroad, an additional retail chapter has launched in berlin. the swiss eyewear retailer may have its roots in the digital realm, it sure knows about the added value of a brick and mortar presence in key markets such as the buzzing german capital. here, it has decided to settle in tiergarten, an area of town which is slowly emerging as the edgier version of the overtly gentrified mitte district. viu has secured a ground floor unit at a colossal office building which was once the head office of a major national newspaper.
the building's lower façade is clad in white stone, and this particular hue extends well into the store, covering the walls, floor and ceiling, visually creating added volume and light. the design is by viu's founders fabrice aeberhard and christian kaegi who decided to recreate their signature eyewear wall in an eye-catching, and dare we say rather exotic, green marbled version. furnishings are matchingly sparse, consisting of a sleek industrial-inspired table and stools and a single display unit. the new viu store stocks the brand's full range of sunglasses and prescription eyewear frames. location: potsdamerstrasse 77-79 [tiergarten].
the creative output of jan fabre  straddles both visual and performing arts, and it often manifests as a hybrid mix of both. known to be wildly imaginitive with a keen eye for detail, the antwerp-based artist creates intriguing artefacts, embedded in fascinating storylines and often crafted from peculiar materials. currently on display at espace louis vuitton in tokyo is tribute to hieronymus bosch in congo [2011–2013], an exhibition of a selection of fabre's mosaics, all created the shields of jewel beetles. interestingly, and here his deep interest in history kicks in, the show draws inspiration from the harsh colonial policy that his native country belgium imposed upon its colony congo in the 19th century.
fabre has represented the 'darkness' hidden behind policies such as slavery and the looting of gold and gambling that contributed to belgian civilization, using the iconic fables and lessons contained in the triptych garden of earthly delights, painted by the early netherlandish master hieronymus bosch. on display are six kaleidoscopic mosaics, in addition to four skulls and four bird sculptures – these have been recently created, to amplify the iconography of the works – and 14 large artworks with the shiny green wings of the scarab beetles [on through sep 23]. location: louis vuitton, 5-7-5 jingumae, 7th floor [harajuku].
ben gorham is a man on a mission, not only to create an inimitable range of artisanal fragrances, but also matching retail spaces to showcase them. after opening up shop at homebase stockholm, gorman's cult brand byredo has launched an outpost in soho a little while ago, and it's arguably the neighbourhood where his quirky concoctions are most appreciated after his hometown. located on wooster street, the store occupies 1,345 sq.ft. [125 sqm.] and features an interior design by gorham in collab with swedish architect christian halleröd. the aesthetic is typically understated scandinavian, featuring lots of light wood, a reflection of gorham's fondness of the material, but also sees it captured in materials and a different kind of layering that betray a hybrid sense of style.
floors and walls are clad in a custom italian terrazzo with canadian douglas fir ceiling beams framing a large monumental glass block structure in the very center of the retail space. aditionally, polished aluminum is also a reoccurring material throughout the swish premises. mind you, a separate space for private appointments, as well as a bespoke leather and fragrance atelier, will launch later this year. the new byredo boutique in new york city demonstrates an expansion of the brand's retail operations on more than one level as it will additionally showcase a new range of collab products that gorham has been meticulously working on for quite some time, including leather goods and eyewear collections. location: 62 wooster street [soho].
next generation shopping arrived in bangkok when emquartier opened its doors to eager shoppers earlier this year. with its towering façade of terraced floors and a slew of curated shops, it has become one of the city's leading hubs where lifestyle is not only celebrated on a top level, but also in an appealing variety. aiming to extend the momentum, emquartier has teamed up with emporium, a sister establishment situated on the other side of the perennially congested thanon sukhumvit and to which it's linked by walkways, to launch the ambitious #ifeel campaign. totally in sync with modern times, it's digital and interactive, engaging shoppers to share their mood by way of snap shots.
using a nifty architectural mapping projection, an abundance of expressive photographs are featured on the expansive façades of both malls, creating a dynamic and immersive shopping environment. at a special booth has been installed on the ground floor shoppers can take shots and post them directly on their instagram accounts, using the @theemdistrictpeople tag and #ifeel hashtag. and to spice things up even further, four leading thai lensmen have been invited to contribute with their work: nat prakobsantisuk, kachain wonglaemthong, tada varich, kit benjarongkul, alongside teen heartthrob and guest photographer prin suparat [on through jul 31]. location: 693 thanon sukhumvit [sukhumvit].
there's a buzz in amsterdam's hospitality scene that's unprecedented, mindblowing even. while the dutch haven't exactly been left unscathed by the economic woes of recent times, their cultural treasures have remained as alluring as ever. the dutch capital, generally acknowledged as the main showcase and for decades one of europe's major tourist destinations, banks heavily on a surge foreign arrivals, and its hospitality and retail scene has seen a ongoing transformation. a long-anticipated arrival is the hoxton amsterdam, the first overseas venture of the london-based boutique hotel chain.
the hoxton took over an existing but rather outdated property on herengracht, considered by far to be amsterdam's most beautiful canal, and gave it a thorough makeover with the help of local interior design practice nicemakers. occupying no less than five different houses that extend to the next canal, the main building by dutch architect w.j.m. poggenbeek dates back to 1895 and features an ornate red brick façade. the hoxton's self-proclaimed anti-hotel profile – instigated to define its value for money and no bullshit approach to hospitality [read: no expensive mini-bars, no high rate phone calls and no paid for internet] – has been paired with an interior design that lovingly complies with the historic settings of the property, but it's all subtly spiced up with elements that make the look and feel distinctly contemporary.
the hoxton amsterdam features 111 rooms in various shapes and sizes, and in a historic setting like this there's obviously plenty of quirks too: monumental ceilings, double showers, one bath, wooden beams and most have a pretty canal view. next to comfy beds and a meticulously designed interior, all pads come with free bottled water, wifi, one hour of free calls to anywhere in the world, a mini fridge for you to stock from our lobby shop with local products at supermarket prices and a daily breakfast bag filled with snacks from local deli stach. the hotel's public spaces, notably the lobby and restaurant, aim to be an extended living room for guests and locals alike.
featuring alluring homey settings where to relax, mingle or even engage in work. the lobby extends seamlessly to the adjacent lotti's restaurant + bar, already a popular all-day venue run in collab with soho house, and serving an elaborate menu of classic dishes, bites and drinks. up the stairs on the mezzanine floor, there's a secluded coffee and cocktail parlour. playful on many levels, including professionally, the hoxton amsterdam offers the more adventurous corporate types and decision makers the apartment, a full-fledged, not-your-average meeting and event space, which also happens to double as a home to the property's very own hoxtown gallery. location: herengracht 255 [centrum].
never shy to make inspiring retail statements, aesop sets up shop in leafy charlottenburg. it's the australian cosmetics brand's second outlet in the german capital, and for this new venture they once again enlisted acclaimed oslo-based architecture practice snøhetta to create an appealing interior. located on fasanenstrasse, just around the corner from the bustling kurfürstendamm thoroughfare, it occupies a 93 sqm. [1,001 sq.ft.] ground floor unit of a late 19th century building which was home to a decadent night club in the 1950s. in fact, the entire neighbourhood has been known for decades for its diverse entertainment value with plenty of theatres within its boundaries. not surprisingly, the interior takes cues from this cultural legacy and this is most evident in nine intermittently placed oak pillars that ascend from openings in the floor.
by day they function as product displays, and by night they're closed supporting columns. this flexibility reflects a modern approach of traditional techniques and carpentry. the store is rectangular in shape, and shoppers are automatically guided past rows of shelving and an elongated sink –a signature element of aesop's retail aesthetic – to the back of the store. here, the focal point immediately shifts tpwards a chunky sales counter in matching oak. the ceiling is dotted with spot lights that highlight sections of the store and its merchandise. and speaking of which, the new aesop store carries the full range of the brand's skin, body and hair care products. location: fasanenstrasse 74 [charlottenburg].