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.
Super Market Sanya Lake Park in Hainan, China by NL Architects
May 2nd, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: NL Architects
Housing Corporation VANKE has asked us to make a proposal for a Super Market as part of a big resort in Sanya. Sanya is the southernmost city in China. It is located in Hainan Province. The area is renowned for its tropical climate and is a popular tourist destination.
The resort will consist of three clusters of large residential slabs of 21 stories high enveloping semi enclosed gardens. The public space plays a crucial role in the atmosphere of the area as a whole. A lot of consideration is going into creating a pleasant environment. The landscaping is a key factor to the success; a large park-like corridor will connect the important parts of the masterplan.
Within this park, the client intends to create several pavilions with services and commercial functions to activate this landscape. The required Super Market would take up much of the public space. Supermarkets tend to create big impenetrable surfaces; their planning logic often leads to ‘blind’ facades. Or to facades that are covered in advertisements.
Often the expression is rather cheap for this is what the core-business boils down to: to evoke the sensation of competitiveness. The counter-intuitive strategy in planning supermarkets: some brands actually invest a lot of money in a cheap appearance. In order to relieve the public domain from this potentially unattractive interface the Super Market could be wrapped in a more vibrant and more appealing layer of smaller shops. On the available plot however space was limited.
The idea is now to place the main shopping volume underground. The Super Market can directly draw its customers from the large basement parking below the residential buildings. In addition delivery and logistics can now disappear underground as well.
To mark the entrance to the underground domain we propose a pavilion that contains retail and cafes. At each corner the roof bends up to form a lively entrance to the ‘estate’. By disconnecting the volume that initially was supposed to be an extension of the residential slab next doors a triangular plot comes into being that allows a shortcut, an additional mini shopping street comes into being.
The triangular, all-sided building will be topped by a stepped landscape: a seemingly natural rice paddy-like valley comes into being featuring several usable terraces. The green additional ‘facade’ will provide a great view for the neighbors in the surrounding high-rises.
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