Laguarda.Low designs Qingdao centre

A new six-storey CapitaLand shopping centre in Qingdao, China, was designed by New York design and planning firm Laguarda.Low Architects.

CapitaMall Xinduxin comprises a six-level above-ground retail centre, two levels of below-ground retail, and two levels of underground parking.

Covering more than 1.7 million sqft (157,935 sqm), it is the first international large-scale shopping centre in Qingdao. It has a direct link to Qingdao’s new M3 subway line.

Laguarda.Low’s concept is an exterior form of interconnected bands along the plane of the facade. The fluid form is accentuated by banded metal-panel cladding on the upper levels, as well as red accent panels and inset LED signage. At ground level, the curtain-like metal facade lifts away from a double-height glazing to reveal activities within the mall.

Throughout each level, warm and light materials set the tone for a sophisticated and serene environment. The sinuous corridors and expansive floor openings at each level encourage circulation and provide views to the upper levels.

At the sixth level, a dramatic diagrid roof structure filters in natural light. The varying apertures of the pattern work to maximise daylight for several key spaces, while minimising light for more intimate environments. The resulting variation in pattern evokes the feeling of walking beneath a canopy of trees.

Indoor garden

At the fifth and sixth levels, a central, double-height atrium space is completed with lush plantings to create an indoor garden.

“The design focusses on creating a relaxing shopping experience for guests,” says Laguarda.Low Architects principal Pablo Laguarda. “To achieve this, we positioned key elements like the dining and entertainment spaces on the upper levels, next to the interior garden. This provides a perfect respite from the high energy of the shops and street below.”

As well as fashion and lifestyle retailers, CapitaMall Xinduxin includes a cinema, dining options and more than 1000 parking spaces.

Founded 16 years ago, Laguarda.Low Architects is an award-winning architecture practice with a global portfolio including large-scale master plans, mixed-use developments, office and residential towers, hotels, and retail centres. Its projects include OCT Happy Harbor in Shenzhen, a shopping and entertainment destination of 3.2 million sqft overlooking Shenzhen Bay.

Singapore-headquartered CapitaLand is one of Asia’s largest real-estate companies.

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