NIO House

Shanghai, China
Foto © RAWVISION studio
Foto © RAWVISION studio
Foto © RAWVISION studio
Foto © RAWVISION studio
Foto © RAWVISION studio
Foto © RAWVISION studio
Foto © RAWVISION studio
Foto © RAWVISION studio
Foto © RAWVISION studio
Foto © RAWVISION studio
Foto © RAWVISION studio
Foto © RAWVISION studio
Foto © RAWVISION studio
Foto © RAWVISION studio
Foto © RAWVISION studio
Foto © RAWVISION studio
Foto © RAWVISION studio
Foto © RAWVISION studio
Foto © RAWVISION studio
Foto © RAWVISION studio
Foto © RAWVISION studio
Foto © RAWVISION studio
Foto © RAWVISION studio
Foto © RAWVISION studio
plan
Zeichnung © Kokaistudios
A-A elevation
Zeichnung © Kokaistudios
B-B section
Zeichnung © Kokaistudios
functional zoning axonometric view
Zeichnung © Kokaistudios
general axonometric analysis
Zeichnung © Kokaistudios
Architekten
KOKAISTUDIOS
Standort
Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, Shanghai, China
Jahr
2023

A new exclusive experience for NIO users traveling around the world – The core appeal of electric vehicle manufacturer NIO lies in its promise to be much more than a car company. Alongside designing and manufacturing the next generation of EVs, the Shanghai-headquartered brand NIO has grown to encompass ventures in fashion, personal technology-related elements that allow users to tap into a vibrant NIO lifestyle that stretches far beyond the driver’s seat.

Expanding on the popular NIO House concept – a series of member’s lounges where NIO owners can relax, connect and work--Kokaistudios’ design for NIO Hongqiao Airport brings the client’s signature hospitality product to an airport for the first time, fusing elements of sustainable retail, luxury hospitality and brand experience for a space that promises guests much more than a typical pre-flight lounge.

Set in a high-exposure area close to boarding gates, the project comprises two portions; a freestanding rectangular lounge zone and an adjacent retail space that houses the debut location for NIO’s sustainable fashion label Blue Sky Lab. Both have been created with sophisticated light-box facades that feature diffused lighting between a sandblasted glass screen and a layer of anodised aluminium, which on approach creates a moment of striking geometric interplay as the sleek flowing curves of the lounge are offset by the solid volume of the store.

Where the standard NIO house unfolds over two floors – the lounge often set above a ground floor car showroom – Kokaistudios has designed for an alternative layout that places the vehicle display in front of the lounge, welcoming guests with a key branding moment before they step into the social space as revealed by a satin glass door.

The airport setting presented a different set of usage scenarios than previous NIO Houses. The introduction of Hongqiao airport’s majority internal business travel demographic meant the space was required to retain the informal communal core whilst instilling elements that fostered privacy and focus.

As such, Kokaistudios’ design for the lounge is composed as a procession of different functionalities, beginning with a reception and open talking lounge with a self-service bar at its centre, before moving into a quiet lounge and a semi-enclosed private chamber to the rear.

This journey is characterised by FF&E selections, with the banquette seating suitable for working and dining chairs of the open lounge arranged to foster conversation, connection and community, before gradually transitioning to the partitioned high-back lounge chairs of the quiet lounge and the intimate single sofa and large round table of the chamber compartment.

Whilst the quiet lounges were unable to be completely enclosed due to strict airport fire safety rules, Kokaistudios’ solution was to create a series of screen-partitioned private nooks with individual recliners and personal tables that lead into a final chamber space. This final room can be adapted to suit both a family looking for a place to recharge or a team meeting before an important business call, and is styled as a moment of calming respite that creates a sense of temporary belonging feelings for guests on the move.

The presence of this new business traveller demographic also resulted in a sleeker visual style that highlights a palette of refined metal and glass, though generates a premium level of comfort with softer touches of warmer bronze and leather. The emphasis of this premium lounge style similarly links the space with its neighbouring retail provision, where a focus on sustainable materiality grounds the futuristic gleam of the Blue Sky Lab.

Intended as both a showcase of NIO’s popular fashion brand and its innovative approach to garment construction, Kokaistudios’ design for the retail concept’s debut venue captures Blue Sky Lab’s forward-thinking core values of urban, exploration and energy as a dynamic, fluid setting reflective of both procedure and product.

Incorporating clothing and accessory display cases alongside pedestals that highlight the catalogue of recycled car by-products used to create the collections on sale, Blue Sky Lab also features reflective mirrored glass overhead to counter the structure’s lowered ceiling, adding both a sense of space and modernist wonder.

Clean and sleek materiality in white and silver ensures the products take centrestage, though the inventive inclusion of reused car components including seatbelts that double as clothing racks adds an engaging layer of thematic detail. The result is a retail space that expresses the minimalist purity of a research lab whilst retaining a sensory, human-centred guest experience – one that succinctly represents NIO’s ambition to root its innovative products in the foundations of an organic community.

Presenting Kokaistudios with a challenging layout, and a series of both logistical limitations and regulatory obstacles due to the highly controlled setting, NIO Hongqiao Airport nonetheless presents VIP guests with an oasis amidst a bustling travel hub, and car owners with a fresh, progressive extension to the NIO lifestyle and branded community experience.

Project information
Project name: NIO House | Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport
Location: Shanghai, China
Floor area: 310 sqm
Date of opening: Dec. 2023
Client: NIO
Service Scope: Interior Design
Chief Designers: Filippo Gabbiani, Andrea Destefanis
Design Director: Ian Yu
Design Team: Alba Wang, Vivian Fang, Chang Liu, Ian Hsu, Ji Jingning
FF&E: Yan Song
Photography: RAWVISION studio
Text: Kristofer Thomas
Media contact: Jacqueline Chiang
Email: [email protected]

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