The history of Luohu can be traced back to the removal of Luohu Mountain, undertaken to create a 1.3-square-kilometer golden area in Shenzhen. The buildings people now recognize, like the Shenzhen Development Center and Shenzhen Railway Station, stand on land that was once part of Luohu Mountain.
The Golden Business Center, a hallmark of "Golden Luohu", is one of Shenzhen's earliest urban landmarks completed not long after the city opened up. Constructed in 2003, this building embodies the architectural style prevalent during that period, notably recognized by citizens for its golden hue. To harmoniously integrate the new exhibition center with the existing structure, it becomes crucial to establish an appropriate design scale for the exhibition space's facade while preserving the style of the original building. To achieve this delicate balance, Various Associates ingeniously incorporated hollowed-out patterns inspired by the city fabric with a golden facade, to echo the original architectural features and establish a connection between the original structure and the new space.
Views of the facade in the daytime and at night
The design team aimed to convey an essential tension on the facade with a contrast of solidness and lightness. Anticipating challenges such as the impact of the internal structure on the hollowed-out patterns, and general issues in an elongated cantilever, such as wind resistance and potential material deformation, the team opted for casting techniques involving acrylic and hollowed-out metal to tackle these technical hurdles. The finished cantilevered external facade now stands as the first super-large craftwork in China, boasting a nearly 30-meter-long facade cast with acrylic, achieved without the use of any metal screws.
The extremely challenging cantilevered structure
A casting test on acrylic and hollowed-out metal
The light effect created by patterns inspired by the city’s fabric
As natural light filters through the hollowed-out patterns, it creates light effects with softened outlines. Visitors can sense the passage of time in the shifting interplay of light and shadows. As they traverse the passageway bathed in dappled light, they will reach the entrance of the exhibition center.
The entrance of the exhibition center
Immediately following the passageway, visitors will reach the first exhibition center, dedicated to narrating stories about the city's past. The design team crafted a sleek and minimalist dark-toned space, placing visitors in a gray area to enhance their perception of colored images depicting the city's history on a suspended platform.
As visitors follow the guidance of overhead light and shuttle between different doors, they’ll reach different space realms that transport them to the past, present, and future.
A doorway that connects different spaces
The exhibition canter that displays future vision is crafted into an inclusive space. It is designed as a vessel of imagination to showcase the infinite possibilities in the future, with a dynamic backdrop injecting fresh energy into the space.
A dynamic backdrop
As the backdrop transitions into its static mode, the models of buildings unveil their most basic outlines against a gradient skyline. The clean and softened background enables visitors to concentrate their gaze, immersing themselves in an ethereal sense of the future within a boundless space.
The future exhibition center
The urban exhibition center of Future City in Hubei area of Luohu incorporates a diverse array of elements, including the real and the virtual, brightness and darkness, light and shadows, the tangible and the ethereal, and reflections of both past and future. Leveraging materials and spatial relations, the design team curated varied experiences and emotional resonance within a confined interior space. Each door entrance offers visitors a journey through different timelines of the city, culminating in a return to their present lives.
A new world is unveiled behind the door.
To mitigate the excessive focus on two structural columns in the original building, a suspended round platform with a diameter of four meters seamlessly intervenes. Upon departing the immersive scenarios, visitors will find themselves in a space with a pure and natural texture, complemented by a vibrant courtyard - a transition that grounds them back to reality.
Urban living room
Nestled within the urban center, the courtyard acts as a tranquil retreat, shielding visitors from the hustle and bustle outside and introducing them to an "urban living room" that opens up to nature and light.
The inner courtyard
A restroom that extends the design style of the future exhibition center
Inspired by the city's fabrics, the exhibition center take visitors on a journey through various timelines. The distinct emotions evoked in each space resonate with the intended spatial values the designers aimed to communicate, establishing a dialogue with the site, the content, and spirits.
Project name: FUTURE CITY Exhibition Center
Location: Shenzhen, China
Completion time: Aug. 2023
Client: CR Land
Project category: interior design
Design firm: Various Associates
Contact email: email@example.com
Lead designers: Qianyi Lin, Dongzi Yang
Design team: Baizhen Pan, Liangji Lin, BoHuang, Yue Zhang
Lighting design: PUDI Lighting
Curtain wall design: SHENZHEN XINSHANCURTAINWALL TECHNOLOGY CONSULTATION CO.LTD.
Decor-procurement: Design Republic
Photography & Video: SFAP
华润置地未来城展示中心 - 万社设计