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GAP Architects | Sky SOHO Leasing Showroom

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Next to Hongqiao Airport, the Sky SOHO leasing showroom resides in the world-renowned Zaha Hadid Architect’s sole masterpiece in Shanghai. The project is also considered the iconic development of SOHO China in the city. The total GFA of the Sky SOHO is 350,000 square meters and expected to finish in 2014.

With an area of 350 square meters, the leasing showroom is residing within the second floor overlooking the south entrance of the development. Taking into consideration of the dynamic and fluid form of the architecture, the showroom interior and its auxiliary amenities are designed with compatible architectural language which enhances the experience of the formal vistas of the forthcoming buildings.

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The dynamic curvature and soft edges of the interior design can be viewed from the VIP drop-off area, from where the important guests will be led to the showroom by a custom-designed-and-engineered VIP corridor.

This project composes of three distinct elements: the VIP corridor, showroom interior, and interior furniture. The composition of these elements symphonize into a seamless and integral spatial experience, from exterior to interior, from visual to corporeal. The VIP corridor receives guests from the drop-off zone on the ground level providing a covered walkway towards the main building. Elevated to the second level, the showroom situates next to the elevator lobby accelerating the visitors to a realm of unparallel spatial experience.

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VIP Corridor

Leading to the showroom entrance is a parametrically designed VIP corridor applying optimized repetitive structural elements. They overlap and interlock into a formation adaptive to the site conditions. The gaps between each structural element allow views to the outside in addition to the provisions of lighting and ventilation.

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Showroom Interior

Approaching the showroom, its entrance obliquely carved into the corridor next to the elevator lobby with a curved glazing entrance leading the visitors’ attentions towards the interior features within. The showroom interior manifests the energy of skipping stones and dynamic of splashing water. Hence, the directional shapes and propagating curves organize various functional zones into a system of spatial conditions and topological variations, giving the visitors unique and exciting visual and corporeal experiences.

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Design and engineered with the latest computational technologies, the free-form shapes of the furniture are custom designed to synchronize with the motif of the showroom. They not only satisfy the functionalities with novel formal expressions, they also resonate with the ceiling and carpet pattern to form a united spatial-visual experience.

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Making Process

The natural curvatures and forms of the interior surfaces are realized by a combination of 3D design and fabrication methodologies with contemporary material technologies.

Due to the complexity of the surface topography, the interior model was integrated into the existing BIM model to ensure build-ability during the design process. The black ceiling shapes are assembled by molded GRG pieces and painted on site. The furniture pieces are manufactured by computer-driven 3D milling of hi-density foam coated with FRP shelling, finalized by glossy paint finishes. Patterns and colors on the carpet are directly weaved according to the digital model.

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Location: Shanghai, China
Architect: GAP Architects
Principal Architect / Chief Designer: Raymond Lau
Design team members: Yandong Ren, Jiabao Zhao
Project type: Interior, Furniture, Installation
Owner/Client of the project: SOHO China
Gross floor area: 350 sq.m
Year of design: Apr 2013
Completion dates: Sept 2013
Chinese Translation: Shuojiong Zhang, Jiabao Zhao
Photographer: Raymond Lau, Jerry Yin
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