Dandelion-inspired Columns Create Curved Arches Inside Beijing Toy Shop By Penda

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A network of columns and arches frame this toy shop and cafe within a retail development in Beijing, referencing the mascot for the buying centre – a dandelion seedling named Toby .

Toby's Home by Penda

Employing this mascot as a beginning point, Beijing- and Vienna-based Penda created a space filled with curving columns – every single representing one particular of the individual seeds that makes up a dandelion plant.

The column represents the stem, even though the curving components towards the best signify the parachute of tiny filaments that aid to disperse the airborne seed.

Toby's Home by Penda

Named Toby’s Property, the store is located inside a purchasing centre in a commercial development called FunMix in Beijing’s Daxing district – an spot that will eventually become the property of the world’s biggest airport terminal, designed by Zaha Hadid.

The store sells figurines of Toby and his buddies, who are characters dreamed up by Chinese developer Vanke – the very same firm behind Daniel Libeskind’s dragon-inspired Milan Expo pavilion and Steven Holl’s “horizontal skyscraper”.

Toby's Home by Penda

“We have been asked by Chinese developer Vanke to develop an architectural interpretation of Toby’s surroundings and translate it to a area for children and grown-ups, combining a toy-retailer with a cafe and public locations for lectures or video games,” explained architect Chris Precht, who co-founded Penda along with Dayong Sun.

Toby's Home by Penda

“We were seeking at the project the exact same way as a seedling may well see our normal environment and translated trees into large arches, which bundle together and define distinct places inside of the space,” he additional.

Toby's Home by Penda

The white columns are dotted throughout the four.five-metre-large area. They each curve outwards as they near the ceiling, permitting them to website link up with neighbouring columns and kind arches.


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Precht – whose preceding designs contain a transportable bamboo hotel – described them as “sophisticated and glittering dandelion seeds”.

Toby's Home by Penda

The latticed construction that supports the arching columns produces shelving for displaying Toby dolls, as effectively as plants, books and other merchandise.

LEDs set into the tops of the branching structures light the room, while a curving window inserted below a single of the arches varieties the shopfront.

Toby's Home by Penda

“Like a forest, the space delivers a excellent contrast of sound and light, closed and open, dense and wide regions, resulting in an interesting atmosphere of spaces and light,” said Precht.

Toby's Home by Penda

“As visitors walk into the 800-square-metre area, they are greeted by bundles of arches, which are kept solid to the front,” he added.

“As the visitors proceed to get deeper into the forest, the arches open up for them to look by means of and goods to be displayed.”

Toby's Home by Penda

Sloping walkways and staircases are hung from the ceiling by rows of white painted steel cables, leading up to a mezzanine degree over the store floor.

This elevated platform is described as a clearing-like space within the forest of columns, which can be utilized for events, games or lectures.

Toby's Home by Penda

A coffee store tucked under the mezzanine can also double as an exhibition room when furnishings are removed.

Photography is by Xia Zhi.


Undertaking credits:

Architects: Penda
Layout team: Chris Precht, Sun Dayong, Bai Xue, Quan He, Li Pengchong, Wang Gang
Developer: Vanke

Toby's Home by Penda Concept diagram one particular Toby's Home by Penda Concept diagram two Tobys-Home-by-Penda_dezeen_a Model view – ground floor degree Tobys-Home-by-Penda_dezeen_b Model view – first floor level Tobys-Home-by-Penda_dezeen_c Model view – ceiling
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