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Xtra-Herman Miller shop in shop

World first Herman Miller shop-in-shop concept store has just opened in XTRA. Designed by Singapore architecture design firm P.A.C, a membrane of 3651 pieces of wooden triangular is individually pieced together to form canopies that guide visitors through the various settings within the store, depicting living, dining and home office setting.

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  • Xtra – Herman Miller shop in shop, Singapore, designed by P.A.C, has won the ‘World’s Best Shop’ award at the prestigious World Architecture Festival (WAF) Awards 2012.
  • The Herman Miller shop within a shop in Xtra, located in Singapore, was inspired by Herman Miller’s core product, work chairs. Learning from the design processes of work chairs, which combines format, structural and material innovation based on the research of ergonomics, the Herman Miller store was designed to similarly “mould” to its host, Xtra.
  • The building was selected by a jury of some of the world’s most dynamic architectural and urban designers. It overcame competition from a shortlist of 5 entries.
  • The jury commended the project, saying, “It is a successful expression of the Herman Miller brand, combining natural materials with design and new technology. The contouring of the ceiling which becomes a wall successfully which becomes a wall successfully creates a series of warm spaces and a comfortable environment.”
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Herman Miller opened its shop-in-shop concept space at XTRA, Singapore in June 2012. Partnering with XTRA was a natural fit for the company’s first shop-in-shop space. XTRA have consistently showcased the world’s leading lifestyle brands since their inception and being shortlisted for this esteemed award is testament to the company’s commitment to design.

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The Herman Miller branded space has followed on from the company’s flagship store in Marounuchi, Tokyo which opened in December 2010 and is an important next step in the brand’s vision to bring Herman Miller’s products to a wider audience. The dedicated space tells the story of the past and present of Herman Miller design and features Herman Miller products in various living, dining and home office settings, inviting visitors to explore the many products in the Herman Miller range and visualise them in lifestyle settings. Central to the design of the 2000 square feet space is a beautifully crafted envelope of more than 3650 pieces of plywood designed by P.A.C. Woven together intricately they form canopies that guide visitors through the store.

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Our design inspiration comes from Herman Miller’s core products; Work Chairs. Herman Miller’s extensive range of work chairs produced over the years embodies their philosophy, culture and aspirations; a desire to constantly innovate, integrate technology with design and produce high quality, purposeful, human-centred products.

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Learning from the design processes of the work chairs, which combines formal, structural and material innovation based on the research of Ergonomics to create a surface that moulds comfortably to the human body, our proposal seek to develop a “skin” for the Herman Miller Store that is “moulded” to its host – Xtra. Four central ideas guide our design process.

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The Herman Miller store is expressed as a porous plywood envelope forming an independent entity that plugs into the shop space of Xtra. This lightweight envelope allows visual links yet maintains the identity of both stores.

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Just as the Herman Miller work chairs are designed to adapt to our postures and movements, the Herman Miller skin is moulded to adapt to existing structures and customer movement patterns. The continuous surfaces forming the façade, walls, ceiling and entrances invite customers into the store and guide them through the experience.

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The complex envelope is pieced together using simple three-legged plywood component panels designed with interlocking lap-joints. The panels are “stitched” together forming the rigid, woven double-layered envelope. The majority of the panels are standardized to three varying sizes to achieve greater efficiency for fabrication and assembly. Customised panels are limited to the weaving as well as doubly-curved surfaces. There are approximately 4,000 wooden pieces that completes the whole design.

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Digital Fabrication:

Compared with conventional design and construction techniques, the component-based design process demands a greater continuity and simultaneous planning across all stages of the project. From the design of the components and its joints, to the shaping of the envelope, to the fabrication of the panels and assembly on site, the entire process is controlled parametrically for increased accuracy and precision.

The result is a skin informed by Herman Miller’s philosophy that creates an identity inspired by their core body of work. The parametric surface modulates light and views into a flexible, open space. The plywood material forms a warm and casual ambience while its structure and assemblages expresses the dynamic process that combines technology with design.

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About XTRA:

Founded by Mr Lim Choon Hong, XTRA was born in October 1989 in response to the growing sophistication in the retail and projects market for furniture, lighting and accessories. XTRA, which began its operations in a pre-war conservation shophouse in the suburbs, has since expanded into a 2,000sqm showroom over three levels in Park Mall as well as a 520 sqm showroom in Winsland House I. XTRA Office was also set up in 1999, dedicated to the promotion of Herman Miller, catering to the office furniture market in both Singapore and Malaysia.

The store in Park Mall houses a Herman Miller shop-in-shop; historical brands such as Artifort, Thonet, Verpan; design brands like Magis, Tom Dixon, Andreu World, Gervasoni, Foscarini, Montis and Flou and an exclusive and unique collection of furniture pieces, lighting, objects, art and accessories that relate to the “resort lifestyle”. Product selections from both the East and the West are made by taking into consideration objects of significant design. XTRA Winsland House I, showcases kitchen brands and appliances like Schiffini, Gaggenau, Sub-Zero and Smeg and outdoor brands, such as Dedon, Royal Botania and Tribu as well as outdoor lifestyle related products, barbeque sets, outdoor shower sets and lighting.

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Project Data:

Project name: Xtra-Herman Miller shop in shop
Location: 9 Penang Road, 01-01/02-01 Park Mall, 238459, Singapore
Coordinates: 1.297936,103.845833
Type: Store / Shop / Showroom / Retail
Project Year: 2011
Opening date: June 2012
Status: Completed
Completion Year: 2012


  • 2012 – World Architecture Festival Award – Category Shopping – Winner

The people:

Client / Owner / Developer: XTRA
Interior Designer: P.A.C – 32A DUXTON ROAD, SINGAPORE 089496
Project Designer: Pan Yi Cheng, Lim Keong Wee, Vicky Loh
Project Team: Chua Hong Zhi, Sibyl Trigg, Tammy Chuang, Johnathon Wong, Yin Teng Foong
Text Description: © Courtesy of P.A.C, Herman Miller
Images: © XTRA, P.A.C


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Xtra-Herman Miller shop in shop / P.A.C
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