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.
FUZHOU WUSIBEI THAIHOT PLAZA in CHINA by SPARK
May 7th, 2014 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: SPARK
Fuzhou Wusibei Thaihot Plaza’s central location at WuSi Bei Dajie, Jinan District makes it Fuzhou’s most successful retail mall. Its design enhanced Thaihot’s brand as a forward thinking innovative retail developer. SPARK’s design entwines the plaza, the street and the mall interior into a continuous circulation route that transforms the building into a living entity full of movement and energy. 12-hour daytime retail activities are concentrated in a 7-level shopping mall from which routes to the rooftop are carved out. Here various activities such as full service dining and cinema effectively create 24-hour traffic-free streets and squares attracting visitors not only to shop but also enjoy as a new social and entertainment destination.
Colour shifting aluminium panels on the facade creates an exterior appearance that is constantly changing. While most panels are the building skin, select facets serve key visual functions such as illuminated signage boxes, advertisements, and three LED screens. At night, perforations in the aluminium panels allow light to pass through to create a starry night effect.
To mitigate this dilemma, Fuzhou Wusibei Thaihot Plaza has two complementary circulation routes, a 12 hour day route and a 24 hour route. Retail programs that operate in the day are consolidated into a shopping mall podium typology (12hour). Circulation routes and terraces are carved out of the podium facilitating access to the roof top where there are a variety of activities such as miniature golf and full service dining can be found(24 hour).
When the normal shopping functions have closed, customers are provided with an alternate route lined with shops and terraces snaking along the podium façade (24 hour). This route is further animated by its adjacency to the pedestrian street. The entire north facade becomes a living entity full of movement and energy.
“The project is an important step for SPARK to bring our 24 hour vertical street concept to reality. The opening day has shown that it will make a big impact to this street culture city” says Jan Clostermann, Director of SPARK.
The Interior Space
As an extension of the faceted façade a crystalline LED advertisement gem hovers over the atrium concierge as the visual focal point upon entering the mall. The pristine white interior atrium is accentuated by colour highlights on the escalators which are sculpturally composed in the middle of the atrium. Linear LED light chandeliers sit over the interior events plaza. Back lit floor peepholes strew across the atrium bridges like scattered jewels as a playful addition to the space, attracting curious onlookers.
The key materials are: Black and white reconstituted stone, stretch ceiling light box, tinted laminated glass, rainbow tinted acrylic, composite aluminium panels and Glass Reinforced Gypsum board.
Our celebrated designs emerge from a detailed analysis of context, brief, and typology. SPARK has a multinational team numbering over 100. We work synergistically, fostering our numerous perspectives on culture and varied professional experience to achieve rich, integrated design solutions that consider the impact on all project stakeholders. From our four offices – in London, Beijing, Shanghai, and Singapore – we have created and delivered projects in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India, and Australia. Each one has its own unique spark and manifests our desire to tackle and deliver on challenges that reflect the key global imperative of attaining a sustainable, life-improving environment for all.
SPARK’s award winning projects include Clarke Quay in Singapore, the Shanghai International Cruise Terminal (MIPIM Asia Awards 2011, “Best Mixed-Use development” award), the Starhill Gallery Kuala Lumpur and the Raffles City projects in Ningbo and Beijing.