Transforming your local supermarket into the Garden of Eden

Keep the function but improve the experience -- how a team of architects created a supermarket oasis.

Supermarkets serve a function -- to display and organize products for customers to purchase. Beyond the occasional display, very few ever aspire to be anything more than that -- something NL Architects wants to change.

The Amsterdam-based architects have proposed a radical alternative to dull grey shelving and the constant beep of tills for a supermarket in Sanya, China. The design is based on a a simple shopping structure built on a triangular plot adjacent to a row of residential slabs, as reported by Co.Design. What could have been standard, cheap and boring has been changed into a veritable oasis -- complete with a planted roofscape and an abundance of light through the use of glass.

The supermarket itself is situated below ground, whereas a glass pavilion would sit at street level. On top of this, a multi-layer roof garden could prove an eye-catching way to advertize the supermarket and bring curious, additional customers in. Above the supermarket, the roofscape and multi-layer design is also home to a cafe pavilion.

In addition, by placing the grocery store underground but above parking and deliveries, the overall use of space is more practical, as well as more attractive. "By placing the grocery underground, we could separate the building from the main structure and create a small pavilion as the entrance and include additional retail," the architects told the publication, in order to "increase permeability on the street."

The architects say that supermarkets tend to create big, impenetrable surfaces, but planning logic often leads to "blind" facades. Supermarkets spend a lot of money and simply end up looking "cheap," but instead, they should be competing not only on product prices, but also to produce the best customer experience.

The structure will be complete in 2014.

Read More: Fast Co.Design

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