Matteo Thun + Antonio Rodriguez design ZWILLING’s Chinese flagship store

Having worked with the German kitchen brand for a number of years, Matteo Thun + Antonio Rodriguez have designed the interiors of ZWILLING’s flagship store in China.

For over 10 years, Matteo Thun & Antonio Rodriguez have been designing products for the German kitchenware brand, ZWILLING J.A. Henckels. Knowing the brand’s core values extremely well, it was clear that when ZWILLING was planning to create their largest flagship store, a factory store in Shanghai, Matteo Thun & Antonio Rodriguez were perfectly placed to design the space.

The challenge for the interior designers was to create a brand walkthrough experience within the store, showing the company’s core values and history as well as its kitchenware products. The brief was to create a ‘Culinary World’ where all the ZWILLING products could be presented and experienced, unified in one location. Uniting Eastern and Western traditions in a contemporary way, the designers focused on pure forms and luxury materials, such as leather, velvet, wood and brass.

ZWILLING’s flagship store in Shanghai begins on the ground floor; a greenery-filled staircase leads to the first floor where a gourmet cooking school can be found, as well as the restaurant The Twins; a bar; and both a casual and a luxuriously fine dining room. Though these areas are all separate units, they are all brought together to create a cohesive space, under Matteo Thun & Antonio Rodriguez’s design concept.

Within the space, a gallery of historical company pictures, pieces from the ancient factories, red marble surfaces and a brick wall inspired by ZWILLING’s ancient headquarters in Germany emphasize the company’s heritage. Wooden walls, in a contemporary interpretation of traditional Chinese ornaments, separate the retail area from the exhibition of historical elements while creating a bridge between the German and Chinese culture.

In order to highlight ZWILLING’s various products, the store was designed to be as simple and functional as possible. Neutral colours and natural materials were used, including light oak and dark walnut wood, sandy terrazzo flooring, and brass for the knife cabinets which add warmth and elegance to the space.

Matteo Thun & Antonio Rodriguez have previously worked with a lot of clients on store-concepts, including brands such as Hugo Boss, Nivea and Missoni. The interior designers explained that working with these brands, prior to creating the flagship store for ZWILLING, was very “helpful - but the respect for the client’s brand philosophy and the knowledge about the brand’s core values [was] elementary to us.”

"We have designed the flagship store as a visual and dynamic journey that appeals to all the senses and invites customers to experience the culinary world of ZWILLING,” says architect and designer, Matteo Thun. Hoping to offer something new to the Chinese market – whilst also respecting the area’s traditions - Matteo Thun & Antonio Rodriguez have created a space that is the best of three worlds: German engineering, Italian design and Chinese excellence.

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