'Reflection, light and pattern'

Monday 02 Dec 2013

Shop in style at Hanjie Wanda Square in Wuhan by Ben van Berkel / UNStudio

An extravagant shopping mall in Wuhan designed by Ben van Berkel / UNStudio is now complete and ready to welcome shoppers to its generous number of branded stores, boutiques, restaurants and cinemas at the Wuhan Central Cultural Centre.

Hanjie Wanda Square is concentrated at two atria situated to the north and south of the complex. Both atria incorporate grand funnel structures coated in 2,600 glass panels and house two panoramic lifts each. These glass panels have been digitally printed with an elaborate pattern to form an eye-catching aesthetic for the mall, meeting the ceiling at generous skylights.

While the two atria share some design elements, the north atrium is toned in warm golden and bronze to reflect ‘a cultural, traditional identity’ while silver and grey hues line the south atrium with glittering materials which ‘reflect the city identity and its urban rhythm’.

Ben van Berkel details: "In Hanjie Wanda Square a circular motif is repeated in many different ways, both in the facade and throughout the interior. The patterns used were influenced by numerous cultural references, both traditional and contemporary and are connected to fashion, products and everyday consumer items, but also to the use of pattern in art and in our cultural history.

"Patterns drive our aesthetic choices, whether they be personal or shared and in Hanjie Wanda Square act as a background to the world of desire encapsulated in the contemporary shopping plaza."

As visitors approach Hanjie Wanda Square they are met by a fascinating façade made up of 3,100,000 LED lights and 42,333 stainless steel spheres. Combining polished stainless steel and patterned glass, Ben van Berkel / UNStudio has created a captivating media façade comprised of steel spheres in a range of geometries, from hemispheres to the full metal sphere.

Ben van Berkel continues: "Reflection, light and pattern are used throughout the Hanjie Wanda Square to create an almost fantastical world. New microcosms and experiences are created for the shopper, similar perhaps to the world of theatre, whereby the retail complex becomes almost a stage or a place of performance and offers a variety of different impressions and experiences to the visitor."


Client: Wuhan Wanda East Lake Real State Co., Ltd
Architects: Ben van Berkel / UNStudio
Façade and funnel structure: Arup SHA
Lighting façade: ag Licht with LightLife
Local advisors: LDI architecture; CSADI, Central South Architectural Design Institute, INC; Beijing JinXinZhuoHong Facade Engineering Company Ltd
Landscape design: Ecoland
Main structure: China Construction Second Engineering Bureau Ltd
Façade construction: FANGDA Design Engineering Co. Ltd, Shenzhen
Facade lighting: BUME Lighting Design & Engineering Co. ltd, Shenzhen
Funnel structure: Shanghai General Metal Structure Engineer Co. Ltd, GMS

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