After going through a demanding 600 days of transformation effort, it was unveiled to public in September 26th 2020 as the largest shopping mall in the western district and the second largest in overall Guangzhou city, turning a new page in urban revival. In 2018 Yuexiu Group approached Atelier DYML as the lead designer and was tasked to convert the existing building into a regional shopping landmark that will fill the huge retail void in the Liwan and neighboring districts.
The existing building was four identical square blocks, 100m long by 90m wide, 5 levels above ground and 2 levels below, a total of 280,000sqm of building area organized by cruciform shaped promenades. At the intersection was a majestic 1,700sqm circular plaza capped with a domed skylight. There was a five levels annex at the east side of the main building, used to serve predominantly as loading docks of the wholesale stores. Surrounding the building particularly the west side were huge entry plazas with no distinctive identities.
Design Concept – METAMORPHOSIS
From a holistic approach towards the program, architectural design, and space planning, we arrived a complete transformation that signals the rebirth of the development and rejuvenation of the community. It transforms the current big boxes into a series of fun and meaningful spaces, a joyful shopping destination, and an iconic landmark of the community.
- Colorful screen
The new façade has to leave a strong impression to the city and its people. With the parametric design tools, we drape over the existing massive boxes with more than 30,000 pieces of white aluminum panels with 5 different colored LED perforations, forming undulating waves that mimic the wings of a butterfly. At night time, the LEDs are programmed to lit up an impressive show, transforming and animating the urban streetscape.
- Grand gateway with mega LED
Along the 200m west main façade facing the urban plaza, we broke the plane and inserted a grand gateway into the building. The gateway is a set of symmetrical curved structure symbolizes the head of a butterfly made of 280 pieces of faceted glazing panels with LED media mesh. The new gateway design breaths new energetic vibes to the city, especially at night when the LED media mesh is lit up.
- Entrances and Plazas
The entrances are designed with sunken plazas to ease the natural slope of the site, and connect people at both the ground and basement levels. The sunken plazas not only bring values to the basement corner retail with more natural lights and visibility from the street level, but also provide social interactive venues which are articulated with four seasons landscape pods, water features and alfresco.
A successful shopping mall nowadays isn’t built simply on the idea of shopping, but more on an integrated consumer experience. Working hand in hand with the leasing team, we came up with the idea of ‘an excursion in wonderland’ where we emphasized on creating memorable scenes inspired by a mix of indigenous, artistic and cultural, natural and high-tech elements at every important intersections to heighten the sense of explorations and the joy of discoveries.
In the efforts of converting a rigid wholesale box to a more sensible shopping mall layout with minimum impact on the existing structure, we kept the existing cruciform promenade and improved its circulation by linking to all the 14 atrium spaces and 7 entrances with a new loop. The combination of the cross and loop circulation avoids dead ends and enable people to travel easily from one point to another in a clear and simple manner.
Connecting the gateway at the west, the central plaza and the main elevator lobby at the east is the Grand Butterfly Boulevard. An elaborated and colorful ribbons of butterflies pieced together by mosaic tiles, paving a meandering pathway and leading up to the Grand Butterfly Plaza with a gigantic butterfly imprint that could be viewed in 360 degrees around the atrium. The Grand Butterfly Boulevard distinguishes itself and set the tone for an exciting and lively experience inside the mall.
The Grand Butterfly Plaza is the main attraction of the mall. It is an impressive 1,900sm of atrium space capped with a domed skylight structure. It is an ideal space large enough to house any promotional or social events with an unobstructed 360-degree view from all floors above. We incorporated a large vertical LED screen in the plaza and applied rings of LED panels around the balustrade in order to program a borderless sound and visual effect, an absolute immersive experience. Source by Atelier DYML.
- Location: No. 150, Xiwan Road, Guangzhou City, China
- Architect: Atelier DYML
- Chief Designer: Josh Goh
- Design Team: Liang Hua, Mingzhi He, Meng Lu, Demu Ao, Yun Xu, Dingwen Zhang, Lijiao Mu, Chang Hong, Junxi Tao, Qihao Zhong, Zhihuang Miu, Hongyu Tan, Junluo Chen
- Architecture Design Institute: Guangzhou City Construction & Development Design Institute Co., Ltd.
- Landscape Design: Guangzhou City Construction & Development Design Institute Co., Ltd.
- Lighting Design: RDesign International Lighting
- Curtain Wall Deepening Design: Shenzhen C.S.C Decoration Design Engineering Co. Ltd.
- Construction Design: China Construction Fifth Engineering Bureau Ltd.
- Construction Consultant: Guangzhou Hanhua Architects+Engineers Co. Ltd.
- Client: Yuexiu Property
- Project Area: 280,000 Square Meters
- Completion Time: September 26th, 2020
- Photographs: Jianquan Wu, Mingzhi He, Courtesy of Atelier DYML