We wanted to try to make the mall not to look like a mall. Instead we were hoping for a home to individual stores, restaurants and bars that are presented in a setting that supports their individuality rather than collective. Our aim is: Shopping S-Mall instead of Shopping Mall.
This is how AIM Architecture explain their starting point for the astonishing two projects they developed for Fuxing Plaza; a lobby and a shopping centre for a 1,200m2 retail and office complex located in Shanghai.
The lobby's main material comprises recycled aluminium foam mounted on all the walls and ceiling — 3,000m2 in total — unpainted and uncoated, becoming a very sustainable material. From this lobby, a corridor filled with light featuring lineal illumination and highly polished glass surface, runs to the centre of the building, with the access to the lifts inside it, and connecting the two entrance points.
In the shopping centre, AIM Architecture avoided a typical design: no glass railings, but rather closed balustrades that create sculptural voids and no continuous brand banners above the stores and deep floor-to-ceiling frames to express the carefully crafted personality of the stores. And all of this with a spectacular white style:
We embraced Soho's admirable belief in the future, to present the project as a seductive bright white environment that encourages creativity and optimism and give all the protagonist to the units same as in an art gallery where art hanging on the walls or standing on podium are the ones that organise and full the pure and neutral white space.