Aedas designs new retail complex next to Dalian's Olympic Square
The Olympia 66 retail development is located at Wusi Lu in the Xigang District, one of the most prominent commercial avenues in Dalian. It occupies a site of 63,400 sq m with a total gross floor area of 221,900 sq m. The site is adjacent to the Olympic Square, which is one of a sequence of squares located on the main avenue of Zhongshan Lu. To the east is People's Square the home of the municipal government, and to the west is Xinghai Square.
The project brief calls for a response that is iconic in defining a city destination. The architects' vision was to create a contemporary statement with an oriental overtone. The concept references the twin carp, a typical symbol in Chinese New Year paintings, synonymous with wealth and abundance.
The interplay of two carps swimming inspired forms containing a dynamic loop circulation flowing through a continuous chain of retail and atrium activities and creating an exciting and diverse lifestyle experience.
The form enhances urban connectivity and integration through multiple entrances. Olympia 66 is totally permeable on the ground floor. Main entrances are prominently defined and open into generous event spaces, allowing a pause before joining the vortex of circulation. The sequenced nodes and spaces along the retail route provide opportunities to rest at a cafe or take in an exhibition. The sequence culminates with leisure and activities at the upper floors that lead to landscaped terraces. The terraces wrap around the building where users can either enjoy a coffee overlooking Olympic Square or walk up to the central roof garden.
The landscape is conceived as mounds and pools reflecting China's natural topography. The landscape mounds resemble a shoal of fish forming vistas to Olympia 66 with pocket parks, restaurants and a significant space for activities or festive celebration. The ‘fish' flow down from Zhongshan Lu across the park and through the building uniting the different sites and defining both exciting and usable spaces.
The offset curving arcs of internal circulation resemble the body of the dancing carp. The body is expressed as a series of simple shells with the tail flowing over the curving central spine. The shells on the roof are layered to create clear story glazing, allowing direct light and reflected light into the two atrium spaces. The largely solid insulated roof prevents heat loss in winter and solar gain in summer, creating a simple environmental solution that is responsive to the northern Chinese climate. The additional energy efficient building services plus the integration of photovoltaic panels will deliver a LEED gold rating for the development.