Designed by international architecture and urban design firm The Jerde Partnership on behalf of Expo LLC, Mandarin is the first and only outdoor lifestyle entertainment centre in Russia. Set within the country’s largest resort city, between the Mzymta River and Black Sea, Mandarin is a new town centre of beachfront entertainment attractions for the nearly 100,000 Adler district residents, nearly 450,000 Sochi residents, and approximately 2.5 million annual visitors. In addition to providing an important celebration and gathering space during the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics, Mandarin serves as a vibrant, open-air entertainment village, a first to market concept for the local community, that will promote year-round activity and enhance the region as an international resort destination.
Jerde’s design seeks to fulfill the developer’s objective to ‘bring the world to Sochi’ with a mixture of top restaurants, fashion retail, casual eateries, entertainment venues and gathering places. The intricate, yet intimate village design of Mandarin includes nearly 33,000 sq m (17,000 sq m Gross Leasable Area) within 10 separate two-level buildings all connected by plazas, bridges and walkways. The rich design centres on unique outdoor spaces, highlighted by carefully crafted views of the beautiful waterfront. In addition to over 80 shops, cafés and restaurants, Mandarin features a diverse set of recreation and entertainment attractions, including: water features and a ‘singing’ fountain; children’s centre; nightclub; concert venue; beach activities areas; and a one-of-a-kind multimedia show about Sochi.
A 36m landmark, the ‘Mandarin Tower’, serves as the campanile of the centre, standing at the heart of the two main plazas - Fashion Quarter and Entertainment Plaza - welcoming locals and visitors. Capped with a glowing orange glass top, the tower provides an upper-level public viewing deck where visitors will experience unmatched 360-degree views of the region, spanning from the sea to the Caucasus Mountains, from central Sochi to Abkhazia. Completing the network of European-style pedestrian streets and spaces are Mandarin Promenade and Encounter Square.
The entertainment anchor of the centre is a 3,500 sq m multimedia laser show called ‘Zhemchuzhina Sochi’ designed specifically for Mandarin by Laservision based in Australia. Set in a 1,300-seat amphitheatre, it blends an interactive water, video, laser and light show. The main laser show attraction will operate in the evenings and will offer a variety of programmed shows throughout the year.
With its central location and important role for the upcoming Olympics, Mandarin establishes a pivotal retail entertainment anchor that will enhance public activity and recreation during the height of the season and beyond. The name Mandarin (tangerine) is a recognised symbol of summer and refreshment, and derives from Sochi’s rich history of being the only place in Russia capable of cultivating tangerine groves. Symbolically referencing this unique regional trait, along with the area’s resort feel inspired by the surrounding beach and ocean, these natural inspirations are integrated with a casual contemporary design to showcase a place where people can experience something new and fresh with each visit.
An intricate weaving of grey and orange colouring reflects the beach pebbles and tangerine trees, while other textured and natural tones blended with wood and glass provide a neutral village backdrop for the seaside setting. Large potted trees, beach planting and paving further enhance a setting of outdoor ‘rooms’, complementing the tenant areas and open-air setting. Jerde collaborated with the landscape architect Bennitt Design Group to carefully integrate the architecture with the vital landscape elements.