Project type: Retail
Location: Changbaishan, China
Clarity of design as backdrop for visual noise of retail. Shopping malls are places of extreme sensual impact, as retailers compete for customer attraction with a multitude of design creations within their shops and window displays. Therefore, the overall interior design of a shopping mall need to be well structured, organized and of distinct character, serving as a calm backdrop for the spectacle of retail.
Generics and Identity
Most successful shopping mall layouts are quite generic; a linear progression of connecting arcades, culminating in plazas which provide orientation and space for special exhibitions and entertainment. The two malls of Changbaishan belong to this typology. Our design proposals provide interior designs that on the one hand emphasize the generic, almost simplistic character of the malls, by applying the very basics of shopping mall design like white floors, full glass shop fronts, and full glass railings. At the same time we give each mall a few extremely distinct elements like special materials or sculptural elements that provide character and identity.
Shopping is Movement
Shopping is about movement, like a stroll along entertainment and excitement. The interior design of a mall should support this movement with design elements that imply a gentle stream, a guiding flow of form that is as uplifting and moving as a pop song that makes one swing to the beat.
Wood, Skiing Moves and a White Dragon in the Southern Resort Mall
The southern mall will be embedded in the touristic ski and golf resort, in response we introduce wooden elements like ceilings, furniture and handrails, creating a warm and comforting shopping experience which invites to linger and spend extended time. The main characteristic element of the mall will be a suspended ceiling sculpture, a linear white dragon that swings in dynamic turns along the glassed roofs, dynamic turns that reflect skiing or snowboarding through fresh deep snow. The movement of the dragon culminates under the glass domes of the plazas, spinning a full 360 degree and continuing into the adjacent arcades. The “white dragon sculpture” is constructed of heat bended acrylic glass tubes with embedded LED lighting. Translucent fabric spans between the tubes like a sleeve. The entire dragon will be a white glowing light object. The carving moves of the white dragon are reflected in the floor ornaments. Like traces of snowboarders on the slopes, curved lines of grey stones are embedded in the white stone flooring. The lines articulate position of integrated furniture which grows out of the floor like snow hills.
The Northern Mall: Golden Light on White and Steel
The main customers of the northern mall will be the residents of the adjacent residential developments. Accordingly, the shopping will be slightly more “efficient”, “target oriented” than the southern resort mall. In response the interior design is a bid cooler, more technical. The materiality is dominated by white stones, glass, and stainless steel. The dominant and identity giving design feature is a golden translucent ceiling sculpture. Leaves of golden Poly Carbonate are assembled to an undulated surface that waves along the arcades and rises up into the glass domes above the plazas. This ceiling sculpture will create a spectacle of light effects, with golden reflections throughout the entire mall. The gentle undulations along the arcade roofs will create a feeling of movement.
The textile character with its swing and shine will evoke memories of a waving silk scarf. The rise of the shape above the plazas will remind the beholder of festive tents. The golden light will express a feeling of happiness and luxury. This multitude of positive emotional references will provoke a nickname “the golden tent” which will be the marketing identity of the mall like Birds Nest became the common name for the national Olympic Stadium in Beijing. The design of the golden ceiling installation is developed in partnership with the renowned design studio of Ball and Nogues in Los Angeles, they have executed a spectacular prototype in 2005 and will collaborate as partners with the bidder for the development and execution of the installation in Changbaishan.