LePur: Beijing learns to love yogurt
Maria Giulia Zunino
The work of Stefano Avesani and Marcella Campa has long been appreciated at home and abroad. The pair have won numerous awards and been invited to take part in major exhibitions.
Having graduated in architecture from Venice’s IUAV in 2004, Avesani and Campa moved to Beijing and started work, just one year later, on Instant Hutong, a series of fascinating micro-urban projects blending a range disciplines (art, graphics and design) and involving parts of the old city affected by the new development plan.
While continuing to work on the Hutong project, in 2008 the pair opened a studio in the more international Chaoyang quarter and named it “Ramoprimo”, a reference to the two worlds of Italy and China as well as to their professional interests. The term “Ramoprimo” indicates the smallest of Venice’s canals and also translates “Tou Tiao”, the Mongolian term for the main road of the first Hutong quarter in Beijing, originally inhabited by peasants from the countryside: the “Tou Tiao” signalled a new concept in urban layout.
LePur’s flagship yogurt shop typifies Ramoprimo’s unconventional and contemporary approach to conveying brand concepts and adding value to products.
LePur was formed in 2014 by a young Chinese entrepreneur. In just a few years the company has won itself a major slice of the local food market, which is increasingly eager for foreign products. Success has come though effective advertising for fresh yogurt focused on top quality ingredients and additive-free recipes and through the use of social media to build up a faithful following of young customers.
The design of the shop conveys the concept of naturalness through visual references and colours.
The overall appearance is light and fresh thanks to the use of white-painted pine baton panels inspired by fruit and vegetable crates. These panels line the perimeter walls and extend over the ceiling to form an airy, tilted surface over the sales counter much like an awning over a market stall. The same design reappears on the benches and tables too. The semi-transparent construction of these panels makes the small shop (only 30 square metres) appear a whole lot larger.
All this whiteness is made more harmonious and less aseptic by the use of fabrics with different weaves and colours to cover the benches, and even more so by the choice of ceramic floor tiles that replicate the fabric of a carpet in grey and natural yarn.
The floor is covered in large (90×90 cm) porcelain tiles with a digital ink-jet-printed motif that accurately reproduces woven textile. The tiles come from Ceramica Sant’Agostino’s Digitalart collection, inspired by the influence of 1980s Pixel Art on fashion and graphics. Ceramica Sant’Agostino was formed in 1964 in Ferrara and is still managed by its founder’s family.
As you enter the shop, your attention is grabbed by the yogurt counter with its fruit-coloured cups arranged in coloured sections on a stepped display: you cannot fail to notice the lemon yellow (a colour repeated on the door to the preparation area and on some of the fabrics) of the frame behind the vertical curtain-panel or the punctuation of space provided by variable-intensity LED dish lamps hanging at different heights from the ceiling and clustered over the counter. More than a counter, this is an altar to the cult of fresh food.
Ceramica Sant'Agostino, Digitalart
Grey - Ecru
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): E< 0,5%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): Minimo classe GB
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): < = 175 mm^3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): conforme
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): conforme
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): >=45 N/mm^2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R10
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): conforme
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): conforme
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): conforme