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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.

Sky SOHO Leasing Showroom in Shanghai, CHINA by GAP Architects

 
November 12th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: GAP Architects

This project composes of three distinct elements: the VIP corridor, showroom interior, and interior furniture. The composition of these elements symphonize into a seamless and integral spatial experience, from exterior to interior, from visual to corporeal. The VIP corridor receives guests from the drop-off zone on the ground level providing a covered walkway towards the main building. Elevated to the second level, the showroom situates next to the elevator lobby accelerating the visitors to a realm of unparallel spatial experience.

Image Courtesy © Raymond Lau, Jerry Yin

  • Architects: GAP Architects
  • Project: Sky SOHO Leasing Showroom
  • Location: Shanghai, CHINA
  • Photography: Raymond Lau, Jerry Yin
  • Principal designer’s name: Raymond Lau
  • Design team members: Raymond Lau, Yandong Ren, Jiabao Zhao
  • Project type: Interior, Furniture, Installation
  • Owner, Client of the project: SOHO China
  • Gross floor area: 350 sq.m
  • Year of design: Apr 2013
  • Completion dates: Sept 2013

Image Courtesy © Raymond Lau, Jerry Yin

VIP Corridor

Leading to the showroom entrance is a parametrically designed VIP corridor applying optimized repetitive structural elements. They overlap and interlock into a formation adaptive to the site conditions. The gaps between each structural element allow views to the outside in addition to the provisions of lighting and ventilation.

Image Courtesy © Raymond Lau, Jerry Yin

Showroom Interior

Approaching the showroom, its entrance obliquely carved into the corridor next to the elevator lobby with a curved glazing entrance leading the visitors’ attentions towards the interior features within. The showroom interior manifests the energy of skipping stones and dynamic of splashing water.

Image Courtesy © Raymond Lau, Jerry Yin

Hence, the directional shapes and propagating curves organize various functional zones into a system of spatial conditions and topological variations, giving the visitors unique and exciting visual and corporeal experiences.

Image Courtesy © Raymond Lau, Jerry Yin

Furniture

Design and engineered with the latest computational technologies, the freeform shapes of the furniture are custom designed to synchronize with the motif of the showroom. They not only satisfy the functionalities with novel formal expressions, they also resonate with the ceiling and carpet pattern to form a united spatial-visual experience.

Image Courtesy © Raymond Lau, Jerry Yin

Making Process

The natural curvatures and forms of the interior surfaces are realized by a combination of 3D design and fabrication methodologies with contemporary material technologies.

Image Courtesy © Raymond Lau, Jerry Yin

Due to the complexity of the surface topography, the interior model was integrated into the existing BIM model to ensure build-ability during the design process. The black ceiling shapes are assembled by molded GRG pieces and painted on site. The furniture pieces are manufactured by computer-driven 3D milling of hi-density foam coated with FRP shelling, finalized by glossy paint finishes. Patterns and colors on the carpet are directly weaved according to the digital model.

Image Courtesy © Raymond Lau, Jerry Yin

Introduction of Raymond Lau

Raymond Lau graduated from McGill University in Montreal of Canada and earned his second degree at Architectural Association (AA) in London, UK.

Image Courtesy © Raymond Lau, Jerry Yin

Raymond worked as computational designer in Toronto, Hong Kong, Rome, and London. In 2002 he joined Massimiliano Fuksus office in Rome participating in the design of Milan Fair (Expo) complex vortex-shaped roof. Upon graduation from AA, he entered AKT structural engineering firm in London. Between 2003 to 2006 he worked as a geometry specialist helping the company to establish p.art parametric design team. Acting as a linkage between architects and engineers, his main tasks was to solve problems using parametric design methodologies, to push the feasibility and buildability of complex geometries in many projects from various world-renowned architectural firms.

Image Courtesy © Raymond Lau, Jerry Yin

Subsequently he was invited in 2006 to join Zaha Hadid Architects in London as a parametric design specialist to lead projects in Dubai of UAE (Dancing Towers and Financial Market) and Chengdu of China (Chengdu Contemporary Art Center).

Image Courtesy © Raymond Lau, Jerry Yin

Founding Zaha Hadid Architects Beijing Studio in 2008, Raymond was the Project Director leading two SOHO China’s projects, namely Galaxy Soho and Wangjing Soho, from 2008 to 2011. These two large-scale mixed-use projects in central Beijing are close to 1 million square meter of gross floor area. Under his leadership, Beijing Studio also supported the delivery of Shanghai Sky SOHO, Beijing CBD Masterplan, NAMOC competition; Raymond left Zaha Hadid Architects at the end of 2011 and subsequently founded his own design studio, namely GAP Architects, at the beginning of 2012.

Image Courtesy © GAP Architects

Raymond was teaching in Architectural Association upon graduation. He has been one of the lecturers and instructors of the “Non-Linear Architecture and Parametric Design Workshop” hosted by Tsinghua University School of Architecture since 2009. He co-founded the research-based 4C5M Studio, and since 2002, he started to collaborate with Sociology Department of State University of New York to research study and theorize the reciprocal relationships between spatial conditions and social developments. He is currently the unit professor of Studio 4 in Laboratory of Computational Design (LCD).

Image Courtesy © GAP Architects

Resided in Canada, UK, Italy, Hong Kong, and China, the living environments and cultures, education and professional lineage have been shaping Raymond’s unique experiences and insights of the complex and interwoven relationships between eastern and western cultures—both analogue and digital.

Background

Next to Hongqiao Airport, the Sky SOHO leasing showroom resides in the world-renowned Zaha Hadid Architect’s sole masterpiece in Shanghai. The project is also considered the iconic development of SOHO China in the city. The total GFA of the Sky SOHO is 350,000 square meters and expected to finish in 2014.

Image Courtesy © GAP Architects

With an area of 350 square meters, the leasing showroom is residing within the second floor overlooking the south entrance of the development. Taking into consideration of the dynamic and fluid form of the architecture, the showroom interior and its auxiliary amenities are designed with compatible architectural language which enhances the experience of the formal vistas of the forthcoming buildings.

The dynamic curvature and soft edges of the interior design can be viewed from the VIP drop-off area, from where the important guests will be led to the showroom by a custom-designed-and-engineered VIP corridor.

Image Courtesy © GAP Architects

Raymond Lau graduated from McGill University in Montreal of Canada and earned his second degree at Architectural Association (AA) in London, UK.

Raymond worked as computational designer in Toronto, Hong Kong, Rome, and London. In 2002 he joined Massimiliano Fuksus office in Rome participating in the design of Milan Fair (Expo) complex vortex-shaped roof. Upon graduation from AA, he entered AKT structural engineering firm in London. Between 2003 to 2006 he worked as a geometry specialist helping the company to establish p.art parametric design team. Acting as a linkage between architects and engineers, his main tasks was to solve problems using parametric design methodologies, to push the feasibility and buildability of complex geometries in many projects from various world-renowned architectural firms.

Subsequently he was invited in 2006 to join Zaha Hadid Architects in London as a parametric design specialist to lead projects in Dubai of UAE (Dancing Towers and Financial Market) and Chengdu of China (Chengdu Contemporary Art Center).

Founding Zaha Hadid Architects Beijing Studio in 2008, Raymond was the Project Director leading two SOHO China’s projects, namely Galaxy Soho and Wangjing Soho, from 2008 to 2011. These two large-scale mixed-use projects in central Beijing are close to 1 million square meter of gross floor area. Under his leadership, Beijing Studio also supported the delivery of Shanghai Sky SOHO, Beijing CBD Masterplan, NAMOC competition; Raymond left Zaha Hadid Architects at the end of 2011 and subsequently founded his own design studio, namely GAP Architects, at the beginning of 2012.

Raymond was teaching in Architectural Association upon graduation. He has been one of the lecturers and instructors of the “Non-Linear Architecture and Parametric Design Workshop” hosted by Tsinghua University School of Architecture since 2009. He co-founded the research-based 4C5M Studio, and since 2002, he started to collaborate with Sociology Department of State University of New York to research study and theorize the reciprocal relationships between spatial conditions and social developments. He is currently the unit professor of Studio 4 in Laboratory of Computational Design (LCD).

Resided in Canada, UK, Italy, Hong Kong, and China, the living environments and cultures, education and professional lineage have been shaping Raymond’s unique experiences and insights of the complex and interwoven relationships between eastern and western cultures—both analogue and digital.

Image Courtesy © GAP Architects

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