SPRING CITY 66
PASSION FOR NATURE, CULTURE, LIGHT, AND SPACE
“….a magnificent journey into natural materiality, art, and cultural references, celebrating light and dancing with space”.
Richard Wood – Interior Director, Concept i
- VISION / BRIEF
Spring City 66 is the single largest commercial complex in Kunming, China. It is the city’s latest landmark and the ninth Mainland project for Hang Lung Development.
Situated in the heart of Kunming’s city center Panlong District, Spring City 66 is a ‘Total Lifestyle’ shopping, work and play environment. It celebrated its soft opening in August 2019. With an investment of RMB12 billion (US$1.75 billion), the project comprises 432,000 sqm of commercial space including a 160,000sqm shopping mall, serviced apartments and a 66-level Grade A office tower (350-meter tall, which is currently the city’s tallest building).
In 2017 Concept i was commissioned to carry out the interior design for the public areas of the retail space covering a total of over 60,000 sq.m. Drawing inspiration from KPF’s architecture, the interiors celebrate the city’s rich cultural context and unique natural beauty of the surrounding landscape. Concept i have designed a sinuous, material rich retail environment as a harmonious destination for nearly 300 top retail brands, dining, lifestyle, and entertainment experiences.
From the outset, the designers strived to capture subtle contextual and cultural emotions in the ambiance of the interior design. A minimalist design aesthetic was developed, suitable for 1st line brand retailing, streamlined in its simplicity, yet vibrant in its passion for natural materiality, art, and cultural references. The project celebrates light and dances with space throughout its vast interiors.
- SPACE / PLANNING
“…a spatial language of serpentine lines, soft curves, and sculpted layers was established.”
From the outset, the 7level mall was conceived with large, urban scale atriums connected by smooth sinuous passages in a simple, and easy to navigate format. The prime location of the site and immediate connection to two MTR lines drove the landmark scale and character of the space. The vast central atrium bathed in daylight is the heart of the development. Its functionality is completely flexible for large scale activation. The retail passages and spaces were sculpted and honed to create a sense of soft angular spaces in harmony with the architecture. Angles and corners were transformed into a radiused form, and a spatial language of serpentine lines, soft curves, and sculpted layers were established. Key planning factors included:
- Achieving a “planning efficiency” (leasable area ratio) of 55%. Mall corridors are planned to maximize customer flow and visibility. There is a minimum width of 6m between retail facades on double-loaded aisles.
- Ensuring absolute effectiveness in the positioning and visibility of the vertical circulation (escalators and lifts). Optimize distance between escalators (50 – 70 m ideal) ensuring clear view lines and optimizing flow.
- Planning seamless connectivity between the mixed uses (particularly at B1), MRT, surrounding streets, parking, underground urban links shaped the mall planning.
- Creating synergy and interplay between interior/exterior spaces including sunken plazas and courtyards.
- Leveraging main anchor opportunities and locating vertical anchors to draw the eye to high-level food, entertainment, and other leisure operations. Introduce unique retail formats such as double story shop frontages and multi-story display showcases along the mall facades.
- Ensuring the utmost sense of quality, comfort, and convenience for shoppers throughout the mall with special attention to the design customer touchpoints, services, furnishings and comfort zones, information and wayfinding clarity.
- INTERIOR CONCEPT
“…a journey rich in visual textures, natural tones, sinuous lines, and cultural accents, yet contemporary and simple.”
The Spring City 66 ‘Customer Experience’ is conceived as a journey rich in visual textures, natural tones, sinuous lines, and cultural accents, yet contemporary and simple. Utmost emphasis was placed on materiality and detailing. The interiors are designed as a luxurious showcase of stone, wood and art craftsmanship, to compliment the first-line brand positioning of the mall. Visitors meander through a simple network of natural spaces accented with cultural motifs, patterns, and comfort zones. Social hubs are located throughout the mall. Luxury furnishings, concierge counters, planters, bins, etc. are designed to reflect Hang Lung’s commitment to customer care.
Inspired by local fields and markets, the handcrafted floor references field patterns in a modern and abstract way. A high technology louvered ceiling bathes the space in filtered daylight and dynamic illumination at night. The glass lift tower, atrium edges, and balconies are honed, curved, and softened. The cove, swept-back bulkheads mimic the elegant folding geometry of the retail exterior facades.
The main entrances welcome visitors and give an immediate impression of controlled luxury. The eye is welcomed by sinuous floor and ceiling lines drawing people deeper into the mall. Illumination levels mimic daylight to enhance the large urban scale of the space. Graphics, furnishings, and concierge counters provide an enticing portal for customers to enter and explore.
Materiality is sumptuous yet restrained. Intricately patterned marble stone floors contrast with simple white ceilings. Gently curving metal-edged lighting coves accentuate the retail facades and draw the line of vision towards atriums and junctions.
The restrooms. The cool grey and white marble interior with wood accents adopt a theme of reserved luxury designed to pamper and relax guests. Ergonomic attention is given to concealed soap dispensers, tissue holders, and waste bins. Intelligently lit mirrors and careful placement of overhead light prevent glare and overly bright reflection.
- ART/ CULTURE
Allegorical references are made to the region’s local handicrafts, colors, markets, and mountainous landscapes.
To celebrate Kunming’s unique culture and identity, and provide a meaningful experience, visitors journey through a carefully curated series of the story lined motifs, artworks, and mosaics. Allegorical references are made to the region’s local handicrafts, colors, markets, and mountainous landscapes. A curatorial art master plan was prepared for each level of the mall by the firm Debut. Artworks, crafts, motifs, local patterns were reviewed and selected by the design and client team. Various formats were integrated into the interior design on walls, in lifts, and in-floor patterns. For instance, the local camellia flower is abstracted into cast iron motifs embedded inside and outside the restrooms. The intricately designed lift cabins exhibit mosaic patterns portraying the terraced landscapes of Yunnan. The central atrium stone floor expresses rice terrace and market lane patterns in the style of a giant “patterned rug”.
- FURNITURE AND MATERIALITY
With over 20 marbles and 8 finishes, infinite tones and textures subtly wash the surfaces of the space.
To contrast with the metal/glass language of the architecture and express the contextual emotions of Kunming, natural materiality was adopted in the finishes and furnishings of the mall. Following extensive research, a rich assortment of marble stones was selected. The soft-toned marble conveys a strong sense of local context and gives a refined natural aesthetic to the space. Stone detailing, grain matching, jointing, and patterning is meticulous. With over 20 marbles and 8 finishes, infinite tones and textures subtly wash the surfaces of the space. To emphasize the stone, other neutral materials were used, such as black hairline stainless steel for skirtings, simple grained wood veneers on lobby walls, and clean white gypsum ceilings. In voids, minor atriums, lift lobbies, and other transitional spaces, wood veneer finishes were used to differentiate the space and create visual features. In these zones, specially crafted ceiling features were designed, using fire-resistant metal in wood film finish.