wutopia lab's floating showroom with sweeping orange peaks echoes chinese mountainscape

wutopia lab's floating showroom with sweeping orange peaks echoes chinese mountainscape

wutopia lab unveils ma’an island’s new landmark

 

Transforming Ma’an Island’s generic urban landscape with a new contemporary landmark, Wutopia Lab’s Hovering Kan-Too Showroom is a translucent white volume topped by orange aluminum ridges that undulate to echo the mountainous backdrop of China’s Great Bay Area. The vibrant and luminous form appears to hover delicately above the ground as a reflection of its surroundings, symbolizing the great power of the unknown in a bold and pure expression.

 

Adopting a nonformalistic approach on the special history of traditional Chinese culture, its landscape, and its architecture, Wutopia Lab translates these elements to inform a distinct contemporary architectural language. In particular, the concept derives primarily from the picturesque mountains of China. This informs the architects’ choice of colors, the serrated roof form marked by sweeping curves and jagged cuts, the cavernous interiors, and the adventurous journey it encourages users to embark upon in minimalist expressions. Moreover, the materiality evokes Chinese cultural practices, including traditional use of translucent materials for ventilation and shading which lend the structure its PTFE skin.

wutopia lab's luminous showroom with sweeping orange peaks echoes chinese mountainscape
Wutopia Lab completes Hovering Kan-Too Showroom | all images by CreatAR Images

 

 

hovering kan-too showroom rises like a mystical mountain peak

 

Shanghai-based Wutopia Lab conceives the multifunctional Hovering Kan-Too Showroom for Chinese residential real estate developer Vanke. Infused deeply with a symbolic sense of localization, the architects draw their concept from the encompassing mountainscape of Zhongshan. The floating white volume topped by a vibrant orange rooftop amphitheater is reminiscent of the snow-covered marble rock ridges of the Khan Tengri mountain (nicknamed Kan-Too) — the peaks of which glow a mystical red under the late afternoon sunlight.

 

The icy mountain body is architecturally translated as a lightweight, luminous structure wrapped in PTFE with a porosity of 28% and 50% to achieve a translucent, visually ambiguous effect. Further, the materiality recalls the ancient Chinese use of silk, paper, mica, and glaze as materials for window shade and ventilation, and alludes to the ancient lamp mountain ‘Ao Shan’. This is made of fabric and paper, creating shadows on the inside during the day, and along the elevation at night.

wutopia lab's luminous showroom with sweeping orange peaks echoes chinese mountainscape
the design marks an iconic stamp on the dreary urban landscape and the community

 

 

The PTFE film further alludes to the traditional Chinese architectural practice of facades adapting to seasonal changes. Wutopia Lab attempts to strip the visual boundary from the climatic one with the porous and versatile material, which creates an ambiguous climate cavity as a ‘gray space’ between indoor and outdoor environments. Filled with soft light, lush greenery, and a refreshing breeze, it serves as a contemporary expression of LingNan’s local climate.

 

For their new Great Bay Area showroom, Vanke sought to extend the space’s purpose beyond its retail function, with a distinct visual design that marks an iconic stamp on the urban landscape and city’s community, and an enhanced customer experience inside. Within, the clients wished to create a new town with functions of a central city. The space behind the PTFE on the second floor is created as a traditional village, equipped with meeting rooms, and exhibition halls designed as freestanding houses with pitched roofs and green gardens, arranged organically around the atrium.

wutopia lab's luminous showroom with sweeping orange peaks echoes chinese mountainscape
a translucent, luminous PTFE skin wraps the facade

 

 

evoking traditional chinese culture, architecture & nature

 

Taking visitors on a symbolic journey ascending the snowy Khan Tengri mountain and reaching the red summit, the first floor interior is painted in a bold, deep orange, with cavernous curves emulating a hollow mountain with a large continuous arch. Clad in perforated aluminium panels, this visual language depicting the glow of the summit is continued from the core boundary to the iconic rooftop. 

 

The Hovering Kan-Too Showroom is topped by a dazzling orange roof with an amphitheater made of aluminum lamellas. After completing their climb, here visitors can bask in the views of the green hills, blue sea, and forest of concrete steel and glass beyond. The elegantly rising and dipping peaks of the aluminum mountain peaks simulate the dynamic contour lines of the mountain range beyond.

 

Wutopia Lab creates the illusion of a floating volume with a ‘flying’ roof, achieved through the structural-based overhang, a sense of openness on the first floor public space, and minimized contact with the ground. Wrapped with lightweight PTFE, the internal structure is void of horizontal seams or mullions, while hidden frames are adopted for vertical mullions.

wutopia lab's luminous showroom with sweeping orange peaks echoes chinese mountainscape
the design creates the illusion of a hovering white volume

wutopia lab's luminous showroom with sweeping orange peaks echoes chinese mountainscape
luminous atrium

wutopia lab's luminous showroom with sweeping orange peaks echoes chinese mountainscape
perforated aluminium panels clad the arch

hovering-kan-too-great-bay-area-center-showroom-wutopia-lab-designboom-2

wutopia lab's luminous showroom with sweeping orange peaks echoes chinese mountainscape
a central ceremonial space houses a 15-meter-long giant sandbox city model

hovering-kan-too-great-bay-area-center-showroom-wutopia-lab-designboom-1

 

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wutopia lab’s floating showroom with sweeping orange peaks echoes chinese mountainscape
 
wutopia lab’s floating showroom with sweeping orange peaks echoes chinese mountainscape
 
wutopia lab’s floating showroom with sweeping orange peaks echoes chinese mountainscape
 
wutopia lab’s floating showroom with sweeping orange peaks echoes chinese mountainscape
 
wutopia lab’s floating showroom with sweeping orange peaks echoes chinese mountainscape
 

project info:

 

name: Hovering Kan-Too – Great Bay Area Center Showroom

location: Ma’an Island, Guangdong, China

area: 1800 sqm
designer: Wutopia Lab, ArchUnits

principal architect: YU Ting

project manager: DAI Xinyang

project architect: ZHANG Shuojiong

design team: GUO Peijian, SHI Jieyu, NI Chenhao

client: Zhongshan Shen Ye Wan Sheng Investment Co., Ltd.

area: 1800 square meters

completed: July 2022

 

architecture construction drawing design: CAPOL

design team: ZHANG Wei, ZHAO Weiguo, LIU Jin (Water supply & drainage), LI Na (HVAC), LIANG Wenfeng (Electrical)

facade design development: Dadi Façade

design team: WANG Zhongli, LI Jinlong, WANG Shuai

 

interior construction drawing design: G.ART

design team: LI Wei, YUAN Junlong, XUE chao, GAO Dongwei, TAN Jiabin, ZHANG Hongru, WANG Rui, ZHANG Gongbo, HE Qing, WANG Shouheng, ZHOU Fengfu

decoration design: G.ART

design team: LIANG Qian, ZHENG Yawen, HUA Ke, CHEN Yiwen, CHENG Rangrang Lighting

consultant: ZHANG Chenlu, WEI Shiyu, LIU Xueyi

client architect: MA Pingcheng, YAO Zhu, LIN Haitao

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions’ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: ravail khan | designboom

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