Snøhetta has designed a new Shanghai flagship boutique inspired by interlocking watch mechanics for the leading watch brand Jaeger-LeCoultre. The design concept balances the Swiss brand’s rich heritage with the contemporary and Shanghai’s fast-paced K11 district.
Jaeger-LeCoultre’s almost 190-year-long history has made them one of the world’s most renowned watchmakers – celebrated for their rich traditions, revolutionary inventions, and their expert craftsmanship. Snøhetta has designed and configured the interiors to celebrate and highlight the brand’s history. A neutral material palette provides a calm and timeless backdrop befitting the brand’s culture and philosophy. Horizontal niches draw the visitors’ focus to its products – a vast selection of handcrafted timepieces and accessories delicately displayed around the store. The boutique also offers an in-store watchmaker booth, providing customers with unique access and insight into the fascinating and meticulous craft of watchmaking.
The overall interior geometry and configuration are inspired by watch components. As an example, the logo wall is interlocked by a counter component at the bottom and a ceiling component at the top. The store’s interior layout has an intricate relation between each space and component which together creates the collective whole – in the same way, that every part of a watch movement must work together for it to function properly.
Snøhetta’s multi-disciplinary team, which includes architects, interior architects, and product designers, has created a horizontally focused "slot" that showcases the watches in the center of the boutique to emphasize the products as the heart of the store. The overall interior and ambiance of the new Shanghai flagship boutique are unique compared to other Jaeger-LeCoultre stores around the globe, with a more minimal and modern expression.
The new flagship boutique also includes an Atelier de Antoine - a room dedicated to both the boutique itself and also for the local community, allowing them a glimpse inside the magic and intricate world of master watchmaking. Atelier de Antoines are only found in Jaeger-LeCoultre’s flagship stores. It is a truly special and unique experience – inviting the customers into the very heart of the brand with the possibility to take part in classes and workshops to learn more about the impressive craft of watchmaking from the experts themselves.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Flagship boutique in Shanghai’s K11 art mall represents a new chapter for La Grande Maison, translating its spirit into a warm and inviting immersive environment that brings the Manufacture located in the Swiss Jura mountains to the other side of the world.
“In homage to watchmaking, the layout space was conceived as a series of interconnected circles and curves, reminiscent of the components of a watch movement. For the interior and facade creation, Jaeger-LeCoultre needed a multidisciplinary team with a holistic and sensitive approach, being able to express the watchmaking spirit, heritage, and craftsmanship skills of the Manufacture, in other words, to convey the Maison’s DNA into architectural design. The cooperation with Snøhetta led to the creation of a boutique concept based on the Maison’s balance between tradition and innovation, understatement and sophistication, home, and Manufacture.
The boutique path is taking visitors on a journey into Jaeger-LeCoultre’s heart, with an emphasis on organic materials and natural colors, evoking the serenity and beauty of the Manufacture’s home in the Vallée de Joux. Fusing tradition and technology, the boutique’s façade is a new expression of the Maison, made of glass shingles inspired by the tavaillon (wooden tile) cladding used on traditional Vallée de Joux buildings. More than just a boutique, the new Global Flagship boutique invites visitors to immerse themselves in the fascinating world of watchmaking and the remarkable story of Jaeger-LeCoultre,” says a representative for Maison Jaeger-LeCoultre
A balance between nature and manmade
Snøhetta has also designed the boutique’s façade – a new and eye-catching addition to the vibrant streets of Shanghai’s K11 district. The design of the façade is inspired by the balance between nature and the manmade. The purposefully chosen facade materials is made of modular glass bricks of various angles and hues that naturally reflect both daylight and the enchanting Shanghai skyline. The façade reflects the visions of Jaeger-LeCoultre and Snøhetta and the spirit of the city. As the natural light changes ever so slightly with the different seasons throughout the year, it makes the façade dynamic whilst at the same time recording the passing of time.
The programmed lighting facade amplifies the shadow play and helps create a truly special and unique atmosphere for local events, such as festivals and other happenings in the area. With origins from Switzerland, a land abound with mountains and glaciers, the new flagship boutique both embraces the essence of nature and also reflects Shanghai’s magical metropolitan skyline in perfectly balanced harmony.