Lifestyle lab: Nendo overhauls Siam Discovery department store in Bangkok

Lifestyle lab: Nendo overhauls Siam Discovery department store in Bangkok
Japanese design studio Nendo has completed a redevelopment plan for floors one to five of the Siam Discovery retail complex in Bangkok, Thailand, covering both interior and exterior design
(Image credit: Nendo)

We’ve become accustomed to Japanese design studio Nendo delivering its quirky signature creative take on products and spaces; from a chocolate bar that creates different tastes via diverse textures, to a collective bird-apartment tree house and library-inspired pop-up for Starbucks. 

The firm's largest and most ambitious project to date continues the studio’s original approach with a revolutionary new story-telling interpretation of the traditional department store retail experience.

The two-year project has transformed Bangkok’s 18-year-old Siam Discovery department store, now centred around a ‘lifestyle laboratory’ theme that eschews the traditional categorisation of products by brand. Instead, an unconventional open plan ‘Exploratorium’ offers a series of lifestyle experiences around ‘laboratories’ designed to create the sort of comforting, emotional experience lacking in e-commerce.

The renovation of the 40,000 sq m mall also addresses the building’s unusually narrow frontage. Here, Nendo extended and combined numerous existing circular atriums dotted throughout the building to create an airy elongated 58m space.

Frame-shaped boxes with video monitors (202 of them), digital signage and displays of merchandise were installed along one side of the atrium, creating an easy-to-navigate visual directory for the whole store, while escalators were repositioned to run through the atrium, facilitating a smoother flow of visitors.

Meanwhile, the unconventional new double-skinned facade glass is decorated with a pattern that reflects the 'stacked box' atrium installation.

The designers reworked the interiors for all common use areas and most of the self-curated retail spaces, gradating floor and ceiling finishes to give the impression that different materials are stirred together.

‘In this way, we made a point of creating an atmosphere where people can feel relaxed and feel free to approach the stores,’ says Nendo founder Oki Sato.

Nendo Siam Discovery Bangkok

The eco-minded studio worked on the environmental design for the common use areas and also all of the self-curated retail space, which comprises the majority of the site

(Image credit: Nendo)

The theme of a 'lifestyle laboratory'

Rather than categorising merchandise by brand, the experience is organised around the theme of a 'lifestyle laboratory'

(Image credit: Nendo)

Nendo Siam Discovery Bangkok

Nendo blended the finishes on the floors and ceilings in the common areas and retail spaces in a gradated way, which gives the impression that different materials are stirred together

(Image credit: Nendo)

Lifestyle lab: Nendo overhauls Siam Discovery department store in Bangkok

(Image credit: Nendo)

They designed everything from a transparent rocking horse to a line of T-shirts featuring Hello Kitty targeted at a male audience. The project has been developed over the course of two years on a scale never before seen

Nendo designed motifs at 13 different locations around the sales floors.

(Image credit: Nendo)

Nendo designed motifs at 13 different locations around the sales floors. They include laboratory equipment such as beakers, flasks, and test-tubes, and diagrams of molecular structures, nucleotide DNA sequences, microscopes and amoeba, smoke and bubbles

Surfaces for displaying merchandise illuminated by integrated lighting

(Image credit: Nendo)

The retail points designed by Nendo include spaces for electronics featuring displays that reference microscopes. Their lens-like forms provide surfaces for displaying merchandise illuminated by integrated lighting

INFORMATION

For more information, visit Nendo’s website (opens in new tab)