Location leads to inspiration as China’s CIFI Sales Center’s style adopts the sea

Georgina Johnston
20 Mar 2020

Ippolito Fleitz Group’s interior design for the CIFI Sales Center in Qingdao immerses visitors in a maritime lifestyle

The new Sales Center for real estate developer CIFI takes its immediate beachfront position in Qingdao as a starting point for a customer journey that immerses visitors in the relaxing world of a maritime lifestyle. With a sustainable approach in mind for the interior design of the CIFI project in Qingdao, the centre can be easily repurposed as a restaurant with minimal construction once the sales phase is complete.

Even the façade of the Sales Center resembles a dynamic sculpture that twists, gesturing towards the sea. It makes the content of the space clear. Stepping into the entrance area means diving straight into a maritime lifestyle, a multifaceted atmosphere of shimmering blue light, metallic silver, reflective surfaces and little white sailing boats. The well-staged customer journey begins here in the experience zone that provides an atmospherically dense, warm and intimate upbeat. It shows the dream of life by the ocean in all its myriad facets and inspires visitors to seek high-quality living at the beach. 

Interior design plays associatively on the leitmotif, triggering a whole range of different memory patterns and feelings in visitors; like conjuring up memories of sunny days spent at the beach or through photographs of beach life. Triggers also include little panels displaying sea poems, as well as maritime video and audio recordings. Other, more direct, object-related triggers include sculptural fishing nets and colourful shoals of glass fish that ‘swim’ above the heads of visitors. The experience zone is rounded off by a presentation zone, which introduces visitors to the CIFI brand world and the particularities of the Qingdao project.

From the ground floor, visitors are then taken straight up to the second floor. Here you enter into a room with a low ceiling that physically confronts you with the horizon theme; a dozen photographs, which all show an ocean horizon, serve to reinforce this feeling. The sales show culminates in a little cinema with low seating crafted from stylised hawsers and stylised sails on the ceiling. Enter the room, and the door closes automatically and a film about maritime life starts to play. When the film finishes, the screen opens up and visitors can step forwards towards the balustrade and soak up the view of the ocean horizon. The vista from the two storey façade shows interested parties one thing above all, in Qingdao, you can gaze right out to the far horizon, look down and your surmise will be correct that the floor below is dedicated to project details and sales.

From the top floor, a sculptural staircase leads down to the first floor and a large-scale architectural model. This floor offers additional areas with wonderful vistas, but also functions as a lounge with an adjoining bar for relaxed and uninterrupted sales discussions. A VIP area with closed-off rooms completes this floor. In line with the entire interior, this area is distinguished by its generous, open and flowing character. With a subdued colour palette of black and white, grey and pale wood and stone hues, the lounge area and all other areas appear atmospheric yet restrained. Filters, furniture and accented artworks emphasise the close proximity to the sea on all floors, accentuating the theme of a contemporary maritime lifestyle in different shades of blue and green.

From the first floor, a lift takes you back down to the bottom floor. Here the customer journey ends in the cafeteria, where we have condensed the maritime mood once more through the use of transparent blues and shiny silver tones. The cafeteria exemplifies the arc in the Sales Center, from clear, open and spacious areas to densely concentrated zones with haptic qualities that sparkle and function as the perfect showcase for high-quality ocean living.

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