SPARK-designed Wusibei Thaihot Plaza opens for business in Fuzhou, China
SPARK’s Fuzhou Wusibei Thaihot Plaza, a 300,000 sq m retail development with integrated social and entertainment facilities, has completed at WuSi Bei Dajie, Jinan District (China). The design team looked to a quote from merchant traveller Marco Polo for their inspiration, which refers to the city of Fuzhou as ‘an important centre of commerce in precious stones’.
The resulting development has been devised as a ‘modern day “precious stone”’, soon to be discovered by Fuzhou residents. A design statement from the SPARK team also refers to the moment when a stone is cracked open to reveal mineral deposits, translating this into a glittering atrium that welcomes visitors to the retail mall as they pass through the glazed entranceway.
“The project is an important step for SPARK to bring our 24 hour vertical street concept to reality,” says Jan Clostermann, Director of SPARK. “The opening day has shown that it will make a big impact to this street culture city.”
As Clostermann references, the Fuzhou Wusibei Thaihot Plaza development has been devised to provide 24-hour access to the general public. Two complementary circulation routes are in practice, with a 12-hour day route incorporating retail outlets in a shopping mall podium typology and a 24-hour route afforded through a series of terraces and channels that provide access to the rooftop. This rooftop level includes a range of activities such as miniature golf and food & beverage outlets.
Externally the retail and entertainment complex is enshrouded in aluminium panels that shift in colour depending on the position of the observer. These colour-mutating panels are interspersed with illuminated signage boxes, advertisements and LED screens which further add to the dynamic visual appeal of the new development.
Architecture and Interior Design: SPARK
Project Director: Jan Felix Clostermann
Team: Mingyin Tan, Christian Taeubert, Jian Yun Wu, Ben de Lange, Emer Loraine, Wang Haiyan Leo Micolta, Cary Cheng
Client: Thaihot Group