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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Hanjie Wanda Square in Wuhan, China by UNStudio

May 19th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: UNStudio

Hanjie Wanda Square is a new luxury shopping plaza located in the Wuhan Central Culture Centre, one of the most important areas of Wuhan City. The multifunctional organisation of the master plan – which includes cultural and tourist facilities as well as commercial, office and residential components – acts as an attractor to the area for visitors, inhabitants and commuters alike.
Following competitions with design entries from national and international architects, UNStudio’s overall design was selected by Wanda as the winning entry for the facade and interior of the Hanjie Wanda Square. Construction is currently underway and the Hanjie Wanda Square is expected to be completed in 2013. It will house international luxury brand stores, world-class boutiques, catering outlets and cinemas.

Shopping street

  • Architects: UNStudio
  • Project: Hanjie Wanda Square
  • Location: Wuhan, China
  • Client: Wuhan Wanda East Lake Real State Co., Ltd
  • Building surface: Facade 29.920 sqm
  • Interior: 22.630 sqm
  • Programme: Luxury shopping mall
  • Contribution UNStudio: Facade and interior design
  • Status: Under construction

Shopping street

Structure, facade:
Landscape design: Loos van Vliet

Credits UNStudioCompetition: Ben van Berkel, Caroline Bos, Astrid Piber withLuis Etchegorry, Ger Gijzen and Ariane Stracke, Cynthia Markhoff, Veronica Baraldi, Mo Ching Ying Lai, Iris Pastor, Elisabeth Brauner, Jinming Feng, Tomas Mokry, Florian Licht, Patrick Noome, Ali Ashgar

Schematic Design / Design Development: Ben van Berkel, Caroline Bos, Astrid Piber, with Ger Gijzen and Ariane Stracke, Veronica Baraldi, Mo Ching, Ying Lai, Konstantinos Chrysos, Rodrigo Cañizares, Chiara Marchionni, Thomas van Bekhoven, Albert Gnodde , Ka Shin Liu, Machiel Wafelbakker, Patrick Noome, Jinming Feng, Cheng Gong, Shuang Zhang, Xinyue Guo

Exterior view

UNStudio’s design concept capitalises on the strategic location for the shopping plaza within the context of the master plan area. The concept of luxury is incorporated by means of ideas focussing on craftsmanship of noble, yet simple materials. Unstudio’s approach considers the Hanjie Wanda Square as a contemporary classic, combining both contemporary and traditional design elements in one concept.

Night view

Synergy of flows
As water was utilised as a main organisational principle in the design for the Wuhan Central Cultural Centre the theme ‘synergy of flows’ is used as a starting point for the organisation of the buildings.
For the design of the Hanjie Wanda Square this entails guiding attention and visitor flows from the main routes towards the facades and entrances of the building. From the three main entrances visitor flows are guided to two interior atria.
The concept of synergy of flows is key to all of the design components; the fluid articulation of the building envelope, the programming of the dynamic façade lighting and its content design, the pattern and space articulation of the public landscape surrounding the building and the interior pattern language which guides customers from the central atria to the upper levels and throughout the building via linking corridors.

Exterior view

Interior concept
The interior concept is developed around the North and South atria, creating two different, yet integrated atmospheres. The atria become the centre of the dynamic duality of the two Hanjie Wanda Square identities: Contemporary and Traditional. Variations in geometry, materials and details define these differing characters. With two main entrances, the North atrium is recognised as a main venue hall, and the South atrium as a more intimate venue hall. The North atrium is characterized by warm golden and bronze materials reflecting a cultural, traditional identity. In the South atrium Silver and grey nuances with reflective textures reflect the city identity and its urban rhythm. Both atria are crowned by skylights with a funnel structure which connect the roof and the ground floor, in addition to integrating the panorama lifts. While the atria have strong and distinct identities, the corridors act as connectors between the two yet maintain their own character.

Facade lighting

Façade design
The façade design focuses on achieving a dynamic effect reflecting the handcrafted combination of two materials: polished stainless steel and Alabaster. These two materials are crafted into nine differently shaped, but standardized spheres. Their specific positions in relation to each other recreate the effect of movement and reflection in water, or the sensuous folds of silk fabric.
The geometry ranges from full stainless steel spheres to a sequence of differently trimmed spheres with Alabaster inlay. The spheres have a diameter of 600 or 500mm and are mounted at various distances on 900 x 900mm brushed aluminium panels, which can be preassembled and mounted on site.

Connecting synergy

The architectural lighting is integrated into the building envelope’s 42.995 modules. Within each sphere either one or two LED-fixtures emit light onto the alabaster to generate glowing circular spots whilst simultaneously creating diffuse illumination on the back panel. Various possibilities to combine and control these lights will allow diverse media lighting effects and programming of lighting sequences related to the use and activation of the Hanjie Wanda Square.

Section Elevation


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Categories: Commercial Building, Shopping Mall

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