Mirror Garden opens in Beijing Hutong

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Hutongs, the low-rise neighbourhoods that used to be a feature of Beijing, have been disappearing rapidly over the last decade with the trappings and furnishings of modern urban life, skyscrapers, motorways and suchlike, taking their place.

One of the few remining inner-city Hutong areas, Dongsi, continues to afford visitors a glimpse of how things used to be and it is here that lifestyle retailer Mirror Garden, or Jing Huayuan, has opened with a basement, ground floor and mezzanine. The store layout is the work of local architectural practice Archstudio and at 283 sq m, this is not a large store.

That said, as the name would imply, the space looks much bigger than it is thanks to the extensive deployment of mirrored walls and ceilings as well as a vertical garden behind the staircase.  There are points in this store where it is actually quite hard to discern where the store ends and the mirrors begin and the neutral white, used throughout, does much to reinforce this sense of visual destabilisation.