Yanji Department Store Renovation Project #1 -4F Men’s Floor-

Located in Yanji City, Yanbian Autonomous Prefecture, Jilin Province, China, Yanji Department Store, the area’s top revenue earner and one of Yanji City’s most prestigious department stores.

Yanji Department Store has started a floor-by-floor renovation project. Following last year’s renovation on the 6th floor for kids, GARDE was in charge of basic planning, basic design, implementation design, design supervision, and lighting design for the men’s floor on the 4th floor.

Click here to read an article of 6F Kids floor renovation project.

About the Whole experience of the Renovation

The initial impression of the facility before the renovation conveyed a sense of a single flow line and unified spatial design on the floor. While we acknowledged that the tenants and products were well organized, there was a recognition of the need to add a bit more stimulation and change, viewing a commercial facility as something enjoyable.

Consequently, we established the following major directions for the spatial design:
1.”Create features for each floor that align with the tenants.”
2.”Craft a lively circulation with changes in the flow lines.”
3.”Develop a rich sales area with numerous attractions by increasing functions and incorporating eye-catching areas.”

These directives aim to enhance the individuality of each floor in alignment with the tenants, introduce an engaging circulation with dynamic flow line changes, and enrich the sales area with numerous functions and visually appealing elements. The goal is to transform the facility into a dynamic and enjoyable space for visitors.

Design Concept and Key Words for 4F Men’s Floor

The concept behind the renovation of the 4F men’s floor at Yanji Department Store is “NOBLE MODERN MEN’S LOUNGE” — a vision of a simple, sophisticated, and relaxing lounge space.
Considering the client’s preference for less use of colors and a focus on luxury and texture, the following keywords were employed in the design:

  • The space was crafted with a gray-beige base color to impart a bright and luxurious ambiance. A monotonous impression was avoided by introducing a variety within the same color scheme.

  • LINE:
  • Line design was integrated to infuse dynamic movement and variation into the entire space, contributing to an overall sense of sophistication.

  • Geometric designs were strategically employed to accentuate the space, creating a three-dimensional and visually engaging environment.

    These three keywords guided the design process, resulting in the successful creation of a well-designed, high-quality space that aligns with the envisioned “NOBLE MODERN MEN’S LOUNGE” concept.

    Upgrading tenants and making the floor more spacious by design

    There are two main types of sales floors: the wall side section and the middle section. Wall side section have a large floor area and walls to display the products, and are usually occupied by leading brands. On the other hand, the middle section has a limited amount of merchandise and less wall space, so there is a preconceived notion that it is reserved for tenants that are not strong enough to compete. By eliminating this problem, we have reduced the gap between the wall side and the middle section by placing superior stores in the middle section as well, thereby upgrading the tenants on the floor as a whole. To this end, we aimed to make the middle section more attractive, first by improving the flow line advantage, and second by improving the design of the middle section.

    Although the above efforts resulted in the leasing of another prominent brand in the middle section, the tenant’s layout requirements were at risk of disrupting the functionality of the floor design.

    In order to prevent the creation of walls within the tenants that would create shadows and hide the wall stores, the middle section was designed with a high degree of visibility and design restrictions. As a design supervisor, we were able to prevent the entire floor from becoming closed off and achieve both tenant upgrades and a sense of spaciousness on the floor by persistent negotiation until the very last minute of the opening.

    The most Difficult part of the Renovation: Lighting Planning

    Lighting is one of the key elements that can significantly change the ambience and impression of a space with a single fixture.
    In the renovation of the 6F kids’ floor that we worked on last year, the floor was darker than expected, and tenants in the middle section in particular faced a problem of insufficient illumination without additional lighting.

    In China, due to the budget of the construction company, the replacement of lighting fixtures always occurs, and coupled with the Covid-19, it becomes even more difficult to procure the desired fixtures.
    By confirming and clearing up the previous issues, while designing for the desired illuminance and effect, and taking into account the risks that may occur on site, we were able to significantly improve the illuminance issue.

    The Path to the Renovation of the Men’s floor

    Since there are fewer facilities and spaces on the men’s floor of a department store as case studies than on the Ladies’ floor, we communicated with the client a number of times during the image-sharing phase to determine what kind of space would be appropriate for the renovated floor.

    For example, we discussed the color balance of the ceiling and floor and the degree of complexity of the design, and we used dynamic diagonal lines on the ceiling and floor in order to create the effect that visitors would circulate to all ends of the floor in terms of flow lines and visually. Through these repeated efforts, we feel that we were able to move one step closer to the ideal space.

    The ceiling is simple and white, while the floor is covered in three different colors. Lines at the same angle on the top and bottom create a sense of unity in the space.
    Property Information

    Name: Yanji Department Store 4F Men’s Floor
    Official Opening: May 31, 2023
    Location: No.608 Guangming Street, Yanji City, Jilin Province
    Design Area: 7600㎡

    In the next issue, we will take a closer look at the story behind the renovation of the 2F ladies’ floor of Yanji Department Store.

    GARDE for “Hyatt House Tokyo Shibuya”: Reflecting on SHIBUYA, a City of Diversity, in Interior Design

    Hyatt House, the hotel brand of Hyatt, was founded on the principle of “Don’t just stay — live.” With over 130 locations worldwide, it provides a spacious and upscale environment where guests can truly enjoy comfort and convenience.
    Hyatt House Tokyo Shibuya, the first of its kind in Tokyo, is set to open its doors on February 26, 2024 (Monday). This establishment boasts a total of 126 guest rooms, including 18 suites, all situated within the Shibuya Sakura Stage. This stage is part of a large-scale redevelopment project in front of Shibuya Station, an event that occurs only once in a century.

    GARDE was entrusted with the comprehensive planning, basic design, implementation design, design supervision, art coordination, procurement and installation, as well as basic signage planning for the hotel, encompassing both public areas and guest rooms.

    Design Concept
    Shibuya is a place where one can immerse themselves in the latest trends and culture, while simultaneously preserving the charm of the adjacent high-end residences and the ambiance of the old days found in the alleys and side streets. The interior design of this space was created with this “duality” in mind so that visitors can experience the “diversity of SHIBUYA” in their own unique way.”

    Highlight of Hyatt House Tokyo Shibuya
    As guests ascend to the 16th floor via the elevator, they are greeted by the soothing tones of a music box art installation in the reception lobby. On the same floor, the Lounge & H-Bar beckons with a spacious counter and a lounge corner offering views of the outdoor garden. This area is open for free use and communication, not restricted to hotel guests.

    The 16th-floor multi-function room, overlooking the outdoor garden, serves as a versatile space suitable for small meetings and exhibitions.

    An uncommon indoor swimming pool in the Shibuya area treats guests to breathtaking city views, complete with a Jacuzzi poolside. Alongside the 24-hour fitness gym, it’s an ideal place to unwind in an elegant setting after a day in the city’s bustling streets.

    Artwork, from the 3rd-floor entrance to each guest room, is thoughtfully designed to convey the unique charm of the Shibuya area, following the theme of “duality” that aligns with the overall spatial design concept. Situated amidst Tokyo’s trend-setting shops and restaurants, where diverse cultures intersect, this space offers a distinct and comfortable “living” experience specific to Shibuya.

    Facility Information
    Name: Hyatt House Tokyo Shibuya
    Address: 3-3 Sakuragaoka-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan, 150-0031
    Floors: 30 stories above ground (1-3 floors, 6-16 floors)
    Guest rooms: 126 rooms
    Architectural design: TODA CORPORATION
    Interior design: GARDE Co., Ltd.
    Lighting design: Lightmoment Inc.

    About Hyatt House
    Hyatt House hotels are tailored for guests in search of spacious living accommodations equipped with everything they need for short or extended stays. With over 130 hotels worldwide, Hyatt House offers home-like amenities, attentive service, and contemporary spaces. Guests enjoy complimentary breakfast, a creative and thoughtfully curated menu in the bar area, as well as comfortable common areas, both indoors and outdoors, ideal for working, socializing, and relaxation.

    Hyatt House
    Hyatt House Tokyo Shibuya

    Candeo Hotels Kyoto Karasuma Rokkaku’s Exceptional Charm Drives Record Number of Design Awards in GARDE’s History

    Candeo Hotels Karasuma Rokkaku has received an Honorable Mention in the Renovation category of the prestigious DNA Paris Design Awards, an international design accolade held annually in the vibrant city of Paris, France. This recognition marks the sixth award garnered by Candeo Hotels Kyoto Karasuma Rokkaku.

    The hallmark of Candeo Hotels Kyoto Karasuma Rokkaku lies in the redesign of a valuable machiya (townhouse), the former Banke Residence, which is registered as a tangible cultural property of Kyoto City. Our mission has been to honor the vision of its client by preserving and restoring this invaluable traditional architectural gem, breathing new life into it as a splendid and distinctive hotel.

    The Banke Residence stands as an exquisite example of machiya architecture, renowned for its opulent layout and interior spaces meticulously crafted by a prosperous merchant. This architectural gem was primarily designed to embody spiritual richness and offer unparalleled comfort, featuring a charming courtyard that allows residents to savor the ever-changing beauty of the seasons.

    In the realm of design, the concept embraced for this project seeks to harness and elevate the inherent virtues of the Banke Residence. Here, the preciousness of this historical treasure is likened to the brilliance of a jewel, and the interiors are adorned with glittering decorations reminiscent of bijoux (jewelry). This approach seamlessly marries the splendor of Kyoto’s traditional crafts and ornaments with a modern sensibility, resulting in a harmonious fusion of the past and the present.

    The endeavor to achieve a design that seamlessly integrates with the rich historical surroundings, brimming with iconic buildings and heritage, led to the thoughtful incorporation of elements reminiscent of Japanese-style architecture. The hallmark straight lines of Japanese design were skillfully employed, complemented by a palette inspired by travertine hues, warm pink and intricate bronze detailing. The outcome is a space that presents an unexpected fusion of Western aesthetics within a traditional context. The inclusion of walnut further enhances the overall sense of opulence.

    In addition to the meticulous design, new spaces like a library and a bar have been thoughtfully introduced to offer guests an opportunity to immerse themselves in and appreciate every facet of Kyoto’s historical machiya and its deep-rooted traditional culture. In essence, this establishment operates as a cultural facility where visitors can both stay and partake in a rich cultural experience.

    DNA Paris Design Awards 2023
    The DNA Paris Design Awards, held in the vibrant city of Paris, France, serves as a prestigious platform for recognizing exceptional designers across various domains, encompassing architecture, interior design, landscape design, graphic design, and product design. This distinguished accolade was established through the collaborative efforts of the Farmani Group and In Between, a dynamic creative collective dedicated to nurturing and celebrating exceptional design talent on a global scale.

    ◆Awarded Project Overview:
    Property:Candeo Hotels Kyoto Karasuma Rokkaku
    Category:INTERIOR DESIGN – Renovation

    GARDE actively participates in numerous national and international awards annually, with a steadfast commitment to showcasing the excellence of its spaces and designs, even after the completion of property projects. This dedication underscores GARDE’s unwavering pursuit of design excellence and innovation.

    GARDE is taking part in the creation of Polène’s inaugural flagship store in Asia, rene of the most sought-after brands from Paris. The store is poised to open its doors on September 1st.

    Polène, a distinguished brand hailing from Paris, specializes in crafting leather goods. Since its establishment in 2016, Polène has been retailing its products through both a flagship store and an online platform. After making its way into the Japanese market in 2020 through online sales, the brand is now gearing up to launch its very first flagship store in Asia this year.

    In this project, GARDE has held a pivotal role, overseeing the local architectural aspects, including the fundamental and execution designs, project management, and the construction itself.

    The design of the new Polène store, like its counterparts in Paris and New York, has been envisioned by the French designer Valériane Lazard. While the core essence of Polène’s identity remains intact, this Tokyo store will also incorporate unique elements inspired by the city, such as fixtures with urushi lacquer touches, infusing a Japanese aesthetic.
    The interior ambiance of the store has been meticulously curated, featuring highlights like large-scale midnight blue art glass, a creation of the French glass artist Emmanuel Barrois. Leather-crafted ceiling light fixtures and staircase railings, along with walls finished in sand plaster with subdued tones, collectively contribute to an environment that truly encapsulates the Polène experience.

    ♦About Polène
    Founded in 2016 by a trio of siblings, the French House of Polène has gained recognition for its collection of fine leather goods and jewelry. These creations boast original forms that beautifully marry the minimalist approach with creative expression, all masterfully crafted by skilled artisans. The meticulous handcrafting process takes place in Ubrique, a Spanish city renowned for its rich heritage in leather craftsmanship.

    For further details, you can explore Polène’s official platforms:
    Polène EC Store:
    Tokyo Store:
    Press Release:

    Photographs courtesy of Polène.

    For other projects that GARDE has been involved in, please visit the following link:

    GARDE was honored to be involved in the production of CASETiFY STUDiO AMU PLAZA HAKATA and CASETiFY OSAKA.

    CASETiFY is a smartphone case and tech accessory brand that gained popularity on social networking sites after its customizable smartphone cases and Apple watch bands became a hot topic among celebrities and influencers in Japan and abroad.

    GARDE was responsible for the design, local architecture, and construction of two projects: Amu Plaza Hakata, the first store to open in the Kyushu area, and Osaka, the first flagship store in the brand’s history.


    Amu Plaza Hakata is an eye-catching space with CASETiFY monogram and logo sign.

    To promote a global environmentally friendly approach, “RECASETiFY” boxes are set up to collect used phone cases, not only the company’s own products, which can be recycled.

    Open Date:March 3, 2023
    Address:1F 1-1 Hakata station chuogai, Hakata, Fukuoka-city, Fukuoka.
    Business Hours:10:00~20:00 (Business hours may vary.)


    CASETiFY’s world’s first flagship store opens in Shinsaibashi.

    The store, with a total sales floor space of 103.7㎡, was designed by world-renowned architect André Fu. The design pays homage to Japanese tradition and craftsmanship, harmonizing with CASETiFY’s stylish and creative impression to create a space that is finished to perfection.

    Open Date:June 23, 2023
    住所:2-8-2, Shinsaibashi-suji, Chuo-ku, Osaka
    Business Hours:10:00~21:00 (Business hours may vary.)


    Image Source:CASETiFY

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