Runner Camp is a running lifestyle concept store located in Suzhou, designed by the Shanghai based, multidisciplinary design studio, Blank. Led by Chinese-Canadian architect Justin Cheng, the interior designs of Blank have covered many project typologies, including medical clinics, retail shops, restaurants and bars, schools, and most recently the offices for Carrefour in Shanghai.
Runner Camp is a new running brand, focused on helping runners achieve their goals in the sport, no matter if they are casual runners or seasoned lifestyle runners.
The store is located along Jinji Lake, the heart of the modern central business district in Suzhou. Jinji Lake is also the site of the Suzhou marathon, so this location allows Runner Camp to support the running community in the area. The store is specifically located inside the ambitious mixed use development by the well-known lifestyle brand, Eslite Bookstore.
Since Runner Camp is a running lifestyle brand, the designers created a design language that borrows geometry from two typical running conditions found in the region: traditional rice terraces (the rural) and running tracks (the urban). Both rice terraces and running tracks share a common language of curving bands, and this geometric principle becomes the central theme of the design.
The design begins on the floor, with different materials referencing running tracks. The bands climb up one side of the shop, culminating in a large terraced landscape to display shoes. Display islands with similar design language also emerge in the center of the space. The central display islands allow for special functions, including accessories display, seating, and computer workstations. The overall design of the space encourages a wandering circulation and interaction with the products.
Blank designed the store to engage with the community. Normally, the terraced forms are used for the display of products, but during one of Runner Camp’s organized group runs, the shop is used as a meeting place, with the displays becoming a stage and seating area. There is even a dedicated community area, complete with lockers, event photo board, and changing room.
Designed by Blank
Photography by Anne-Gloria Lefèvre