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Sneak preview of Chengdu Tianfu’s commercial offerings


China Duty Free Group (CDFG) and The Design Solution today provided a sneak preview of their design scheme for the 4,000sqm airside commercial area at Chengdu’s new Tianfu International Airport (TFU).

The airport is due to open in mid 2021, ready for the International University Sports Federation (FISU) Chengdu 2021 Summer World University Games in August.

Said to be inspired by the cultural heritage and evocative era of the Silk Road that first connected South West China with the rest of the world – introducing trade in fine goods including tea, gunpowder, silk and paper – the design scheme marks Chengdu’s significance throughout history.

According to The Design Solution, the curation reflects several local influences to immerse and engage passengers with a true sense of Chengdu and the Sichuan province.

A key design inspiration in the scheme is the flowing movement and organic nature of silk, featured throughout the stores, to express the movement of the traders on the route itself.

The natural beauty of the region is introduced with delicate cherry blossom influences and bamboo forms represented in authentic furnishings, fret cut metal and other design details throughout the space.

The scheme comprises a central commercial area experienced by all passengers as they clear security and transit, with three piers leading off to the gates.

This features two walk-through duty free stores with open store frontage encouraging passengers to enter and explore. The interior features a distinct expression for each category, creating a unique, multi-layered shopper experience.

The Liquor and Tobacco category is split in two defined zones, while a special feature is the China Duty Free VIP lounge for invited guests, a restful cocoon just a step away from the busy terminal walkways.

It is said that the space is designed to enable brand personalisation take-overs with space for tutored tastings of premium wines and spirits.

Other unique features include Chocolab – a new bespoke confectionery concept where fun, entertainment and education combine playfully to spotlight the making of chocolate as a magical laboratory concept – and an electronic experience centre which invites exploration with ‘gamefication’ as an engagement strategy and product merchandised on play tables to enable trial before purchase.

Nick Taylor, director of The Design Solution comments. “This design scheme has been a unique and fascinating challenge – bringing to life China Duty Free Group’s vision to distil the essence of Chengdu and the province of Sichuan, both culturally and physically, as an authentic expression of its DNA.

“A fast-paced project delivered from start to finish during the pandemic, our team in London has had to manage all aspects remotely working in close conjunction with China Duty Free in Beijing.

“We have achieved an incredibly speedy turnaround thanks to the support of Yuming Zhang, our representative in China, acting as a valuable conduit with the local design institute and the airport.”

The first phase of the airport construction is expected to serve 60 million passengers by 2025 with two terminals and three runways.

When fully completed the airport will have six runways and four terminals and capacity for 90 million passengers and is expected to become Southwest China’s major international air hub, making Chengdu the third Chinese city to have two international airports, after Beijing and Shanghai.

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