Vertical threads of wool in hues of blue and green are neatly inserted between tall eco-resin panels marking the entrance of the Tai Ping showroom in Hamburg. Created by New York-based Matthew Baird Design, this latest showroom is the European flagship of Tai Ping, a luxury carpet manufacturer founded in Hong Kong some 50 years ago.
Tai Ping’s CEO had a very specific brief for the first showroom, which has been applied to all the ones built since then. “He wanted to make the space authentic to its Chinese roots, but also to make the design aspire to contemporary international design,” says Matthew Baird.
The architects studied traditional Chinese spaces and focused particularly on their characteristics of delayed entrance, spaciousness, light and Feng Shui. In Hamburg, the showroom is located along the harbour in the Slomanhaus, a 1909 building commissioned by a wealthy shipowner. “What is unique to this showroom is this beautiful location on the Elbe River and the existing building, which is designed in this lovely Art Nouveau style. We didn’t try to hide or change its architecture,” says Baird. The entrance consists of a generous corridor, separated from the showroom by the eco-resin panels, and gives on to the view of the harbour. “In traditional Chinese courtyard houses, the sacred space is delayed, which is what we have done here with the showroom,” says Baird. At the end of the corridor, the showroom opens to the right. Large, white, showcase shelves made of plywood rest in the centre of the room, while laquered storage chests cladded with acrylic lie beneath the windows.
photographer Ralph Wentz