AVENUE & SON by Various Associates


From street to avenue
AVENUE & SON is a skateboard brand co-founded by four professional skaters in Shanghai in 2014. The brand’s concept “from street to avenue” carries the pursuit of freedom and individuality, typical of street culture. Guided by skateboarding spirit, AVENUE & SON has become one of the global cultural crazes among youngsters with its street culture-rooted DNA and brand concept.

Luxury and streets
Integrating fashion, lifestyle, sports and art, Qiantan is an ideal city model zone developed by Lujiazui Group, and one of the future core areas of Shanghai. Centering on the concept of WELLNESS, the commercial complex Taikoo Li Qiantan combines longstanding luxury brands with street culture, art with fashion trends, and shows a lifestyle represented by skateboarding.


Designed by Various Associates, the first AVENUE & SON flagship store in China is sited at WOOD HOUSE in Taikoo Li Qiantan. The store is integrated with the brand’s street-structure skate park, which echoes Oriental Sports Center (“the Crown of the Sea”), both representing the most chill structures in the area. Its relationship with the Oriental Sports Center also makes this site more playful and significant.

The first marble skate park in the world
Skateboarding, as one of the official sports of at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, is no longer a street sport unrecognized by the mainstream. Various Associates hoped to break the stereotype that “street equals cheap”. Therefore, the team created the world’s first marble skate park to blur the traditional boundaries between street and mainstream cultures, allowing visitors to focus on the cultural and aesthetic aspects of skateboarding. Furthermore, the park also provides a creative and quality space for products derived from street culture.

Public-led urban commerce
In order to break the boundary between culture and commerce, the designers tried to strike a balance between luxury and street. Starting from the youth’s passion for sports culture, the team conceived a gathering place for skaters, which is both outdoors and indoors, practical and fun. This marble skate park is a realistic integration of street culture and luxury, and a significant urban public space in a commercial setting.

The street-structure park carries multiple functions for skateboarding, leisure, cafe and pop-up activities. The outdoor marble kiosk is a coffee and beverage area, and the bronze AVENUE & SON logo is inlaid into the stone by traditional craftsmanship. The classic street light that represents the brand’s street culture guides the way through the night.

Design language from outdoors to indoors
The traditional metal folding door at the entrance is a reminiscence and continuation of the old streets. The delicate metal slats imprinted with the brand’s logo create a striking contrast to the contemporary architecture in the commercial complex. The two staircases, together with a slight slope in the middle, recreate familiar scenes on the streets of Shanghai.

The appropriate height makes it possible for skaters to glide on the structures, and also enables customers at the entrance to get a better view of products displayed at varied heights. The core ramp element in the interior space originates from skaters’ daily street routes. Skaters can skate through the interior to the outdoors, which creates a special experience.

Unified ramps and spaces at indoors and outdoors, curved handrails, symmetrical upper and lower slopes, as well as tracks on the ceiling resembling road markings, are meant to integrate street elements with the brand’s DNA and spatial aesthetics, thereby producing a unique, appealing destination that is classy yet popular. Inspired by the way that streets’ names are marked, the side part of stairs is imprinted with the brand’s logo, birthplace and time of establishment, which echoes the DNA from streets.

Display of product diversity
Behind the screen is the clothes display area, where customers move along a circular circulation route, which ensures the visibility of all products and facilitate responsive product introduction services. The closed circulation route bypasses display stands of varied heights and forms, to separate display areas for shoes, hats, clothes and skateboards, hence realizing more efficient shopping experiences.

Other functional areas such as waiting area, storeroom and fitting room are also hidden behind the large screen. The back side of the screen is an A-shaped steel frame, which extracts the “A” letter from the brand’s name. Under the steel frame is a seat, which can also serve for temporary garment display. The core ramp is not only a pop-up area for cross-brand collaborative activities, but also a stand for presenting skateboards and other products. It can also be used for graffiti or graphic display.

This inclusive and neutral “blank” area provides flexibility for collaborative events between A&S and other brands, enabling various brands to fully showcase their attitudes. Abundant oblique lines generate rich visual effects, and mirrored surfaces create multiple reflections which are visible by customers from various angles. Opening the hidden storeroom and fitting room doors, another mirrored world dominated by oblique lines comes into view.

Skaters’ night
As a leading Chinese skateboard brand, AVENUE & SON is developing a unique perspective of Chinese skateboarding culture. From street to avenue, the brand remains free and diverse, growing unrestrainedly. In addition to meeting commercial demands and fitting into the brand’s positioning, this project is more significant as a space for cultural exchanges based in a commercial complex.

By creating an open and inclusive space in Taikoo Li Qiantan, it enables people of all ages to enjoy skateboarding and get to know the fun of skateboarding culture. On the other hand, the presence of the skateboard brand brings more vitality to the commercial complex. It’s available for use both in the daytime and at night. As night falls, it injects vigor and young energy into the city. Source by Various Associates.

  • Location: Taikoo Li Qiantan, Shanghai, China
  • Architect: Various Associates
  • Lead Designers: Dongzi Yang, Qianyi Lin
  • Design Team: Zebing Li, Yongliang Huang, Milly Qiu
  • Stone Supplier: Shanghai Yishehui Industrial Co., Ltd.
  • Construction: Shanghai Yubin Construction Engineering Co., Ltd.
  • Multimedia Supplier: LEOX
  • Skaters: Haonan Hu, Guohua Wang, PIKAI, Jeremy Hu, Xiao Yu, Wenkai Xie, Li Zu
  • Content team: Xiaoxiao, Donis, Taye, Wayne
  • Client: AVENUE & SON
  • Status: Completed in Dec. 2021
  • Video: Lulu from A&S
  • Photographs: SFAP, SHAWN from A&S, Courtesy of Various Associates