Fluidity and transparency are key at new zig-zag shopping experience in Hong Kong
Rocco Design Architects’ new commercial project, iSQUARE, is a multifunctional retail experience, composed of separate units vertically stacked up 24 stories. Once completed, the new building in Hong Kong’s popular commercial area of Tsim Sha Tsui is set to provide approximately 53,000 sq m of gross floor area composed of 3 major components – retail shops, restaurants and a cinema complex. A series of sky-atria house the retail units, extending up the full height of the building, orchestrating spatial tensions within the dynamic space.
This design puts an emphasis on fluidity and transparency of the structure’s spatial arrangement. Stretching along the entire length of Peking Road, the podium section of the structure creates a 300 sq m civic plaza at the main entrance, where the public can gather to socialise. This feature was included with the intention of persuading passing potential customers to enter the building. These elements of fluidity and transparency are continued in the exterior of the building, manifested through the interplay of escalator systems and a series of large glass boxes. All of the express escalators are strategically placed along the transparent Nathan Road facade to bridge connections from the various sky atria to the movements on the street below, eventually leading to the IMAX theatre at the top of the building.
Aside from the sky atria, a large portion of the structure’s facade is cladded with an opaque curtain wall system, integrated with warm, white LED lights. This facade lighting scheme is designed to give a glowing lantern effect that will blend with the existing neon-covered streetscape of Nathan Road at night, whilst remaining visually distinctive from its neighbours.
At the northern end of the building, a 12 storey Gourmet Tower housing food and beverage outlets is set to capitalise on the panoramic views of Victoria Harbour. In contrast, the podium portion of the building at the southern end reaches a much lower height, similar to that of its neighbours in the existing urban block. This decision was made to help sustain continuity of the lower building line with the surrounding urban environment.