Fuzhou Wusibei Thaihot Plaza’s central location at WuSi Bei Dajie, Jinan District makes itFuzhou’s most successful retail mall. Its design enhanced Thaihot’s brand as a forwardthinking innovative retail developer. SPARK’s design entwines the plaza, the street andthe mall interior into a continuous circulation route that transforms the building into aliving entity full of movement and energy. 12-hour daytime retail activities areconcentrated in a 7-level shopping mall from which routes to the rooftop are carved out.Here various activities such as full service dining and cinema effectively create 24-hourtraffic-free streets and squares attracting visitors not only to shop but also enjoy as anew social and entertainment destination.
DESIGN DESCRIPTION It is recorded history that after visiting Fuzhou, Marco Polo described the city as “animportant centre of commerce in precious stones.” Fuzhou Wusibei Thaihot Plaza is themodern day ‘precious stone’, a gem, located in the heart of Fuzhou soon to be discoveredby many alike.
The Building The many facets of the building exist to serve different functions in plan and the buildingfacade. Easing the edges of the building in plan increases sightlines into the pedestrianstreet, which helps draws people in. Unlike some straight streets that shoot pedestriansquickly through, an undulating tenant facade facilitates the natural ebb and flow ofpedestrian traffic, creating a dynamic shopping experience.
Colour shifting aluminium panels on the facade creates an exterior appearance that isconstantly changing. While most panels are the building skin, select facets serve keyvisual functions such as illuminated signage boxes, advertisements, and three LEDscreens. At night, perforations in the aluminium panels allow light to pass through tocreate a starry night effect.
The Circulation The typical mall typology locates functions such as cinemas & KTV at upper levels ofmalls. These functions operate into the early hours of the morning long past the closingtime of other retail facilities necessitating the public to navigate a difficult journey downout of darkened non air conditioned space.
To mitigate this dilemma, Fuzhou Wusibei Thaihot Plaza has two complementarycirculation routes, a 12 hour day route and a 24 hour route. Retail programs that operatein the day are consolidated into a shopping mall podium typology (12hour). Circulationroutes and terraces are carved out of the podium facilitating access to the roof top wherethere are a variety of activities such as miniature golf and full service dining can befound(24 hour).
When the normal shopping functions have closed, customers are provided with analternate route lined with shops and terraces snaking along the podium façade (24 hour).This route is further animated by its adjacency to the pedestrian street. The entire northfacade becomes a living entity full of movement and energy.
“The project is an important step for SPARK to bring our 24 hour vertical street conceptto reality. The opening day has shown that it will make a big impact to this street culturecity” says Jan Clostermann, Director of SPARK.
The Interior Space On a rare occasion, chipping away at a stone will lead to the discovery of a cavernous corelined with mineral deposits exploding with radiant colour and light. The experience ofentering Spark's proposed mall in Fuzhou is equally dazzling as a voluminous atriumfilled with vibrant colour and light greets the visitor.
As an extension of the faceted façade a crystalline LED advertisement gem hovers overthe atrium concierge as the visual focal point upon entering the mall. The pristine whiteinterior atrium is accentuated by colour highlights on the escalators which aresculpturally composed in the middle of the atrium. Linear LED light chandeliers sit overthe interior events plaza. Back lit floor peepholes strew across the atrium bridges likescattered jewels as a playful addition to the space, attracting curious onlookers.
The key materials are: Black and white reconstituted stone, stretch ceiling light box,tinted laminated glass, rainbow tinted acrylic, composite aluminium panels and GlassReinforced Gypsum board.