Shanghai, China – 2014
This project reflects a strong aesthetic developed over time and dedication to the philosophy ‘materials matter’, while still being able to respond to the demands of its purpose.
Our goal was to create a simple, yet abundant space that complimented the strong linearity of the architecture. The question we asked ourselves was how to make a space out of minimal amount of materials that is still able to respond to the demands of its purpose, and set itself apart from the more commonly used marble or stone.
The developers wanted futuristic design with contemporary simplicity. Using aluminum foam sheets, we succeeded in making an environmentally friendly solution that employs new techniques and materials, and evokes a similar strength and richness as stone or marble.
It’s an intelligently engineered panel with small to medium pores. We used it unpainted and uncoated – pure and simple. Through an air infusion process, the aluminum is made porous, an ideal material for acoustics. The process results in hard surface foam that is easily foldable and light.
The first impression of the raw material is a smooth surface, but when seen at close range it shifts in texture and richness, lending a lively and energetic feeling to the interior. Its aesthetic is beautifully balanced by the smooth, bright white in the lift lobby.
The bold lift corridor acts as a stronger character within the monochrome lobby. It lures guests in with a rhythm of light and white lines, which are also used at the lift. The brass cones in the landscape are designed to connect the ground floor with the underground levels. This is a choice to highlight the open connection to the shopping mall below.
This striking contrast creates an inviting energy that satisfies and anticipates the needs of the space while resulting in stunning contemporary architecture.
Client: SOHO China
Size: 1 200 sqm
Design Team: Vincent de Graaf, Wendy Saunders , German Roig, Zhuoran Chen, Jiao Yan
Photography: Dirk Weiblen