Construction has begun on one of the largest duty-free shopping facilities in the world: Haitang Bay International Shopping Center in Sanya, Hainan Island. The Chinese retail venue has been designed by VALODE ET PISTRE ARCHITECTE (VP Architectes), a French firm specialising in large-scale public buildings and centres of business. The client for the project is China International Travel Service Limited.
The undulating glass form of the shopping centre is described by the architects thus: “The design inspiration comes from the Haitang Bay flower, the symbol of Sanya. From the flower concept comes the overall master plan distribution and as well the organic and free form shape of the key buildings.”
This concept of the Haitang Bay flower arches over the entire project, encasing two separate retail buildings in an organic glass shell with undulating roofscape formed of glass and aluminium panels. In the centre of this is a large entranceway spanning 50m supported by a series of 35m high steel arches.
Within the 125,000 sq m complex, a vast number of top-end and flagship stores are clustered around thematic inner courtyards with latticework voids which extend down from the glazed roof. Central inner atria are designed to maximise natural lighting and improve building natural ventilation.
The main building double-skin facade is facing the city street and, in order to offer the maximum visibility to the flagship stores in the front, it has been designed using full glazing structural glass facade. The rest of the facade all over the buildings is a composition of glass panels for showcase and full aluminum panels.
The location of the retail venue is in a popular international tourism part of Sanya, populated with a multitude of luxury hotels. Externally the Haitang Bay International Shopping Centre is connected to the coast by a 50m public axis, drawing in tourists from this buzzing seaside walk. Completion is scheduled for 2014.