A symbolic ‘campfire in the snow’, Arc’teryx’s store at the Beidahu Ski Resort in Jilin, China, creates a flow of interaction between people and the brand.
The Canadian high-performance outerwear brand wanted to position its store as the beginning of a great adventure, working with design studio Still Young to develop a space at Jilin’s Beidahu Ski Resort. Skiers and snowboarders in need of outfitting find a warm-tone space, one that emphasizes their experience indoors and out. Only one-third of the space is used for sales – brand engagement is the priority. The store is situated on a ground-floor corner that, with its blonde-wood cladding, seemingly protrudes as a separate entity from the multi-storey building. The wood’s rich tan hue is an immediate visual contrast to the icy surroundings.
A circular veranda is the transition point between the exterior and interior, and a place where people can gather for a break, storing their equipment against the façade. Yellow lighting bathes the store in a welcoming glow that emanates outward. Inside, solid triangular structures punctuate the space, referencing licks of fire. The most notable is a glacier installation made from acrylic that incorporates a bar for gathering. Modular cabinetry facilitates new configurations in line with the light conditions. Meanwhile, three-dimensional folding ceiling elements and pale-hued fabric curtains simulate the sensation of being inside a tent.
In the back of the store is a mountain skills training zone dressed in dark grey stones and wooden panels. Mechanical pulleys repurposed from cable cars and a hanging fireplace make another area for customers to come together and interact.
The past decade has seen a huge jump in people participating in outdoor activities, a boost that the pandemic contributed to greatly. ‘With a new cohort of people entering the sector, the industry can no longer rely on a base level of knowledge,’ wrote contributing retail editor Holly Friend on the subject in late 2020. ‘Instead, they’ll use their stores as spaces to educate customers about outdoor activities and connect them with peers.’ Offering their own spin on this retail development – joining the likes of Snow Peak, Adidas, Fjällräven and more – Arc’teryx and Still Young have opened the door to a space that stands as a memorable destination in its own right. Its features give new opportunities for Beidahu Ski Resort guests to organically meet one another, and immediately roots the image of Arc’teryx in the context its products are made for.
Designed by Still Young
Photography by SFAP