Creating a cultural destination with mise-en-scène. Nowadays, everyone watches movies online, how could physical cinemas stay relevant and attractive for the cinephiles?
That was the design challenge for our first cinema project for MOViE MOViE at the Taikoo Li Qiantan, a mixed-use development recently completed in Shanghai. We started off asking what is the cinema experience? It is a moment of escape, an internal journey, or an expedition to another world. To complement these adventures, we set out to create a physical platform recalling memories of encountering natural wonders and travelling off the beaten path.
The cinema is located in Taikoo Li Qiantan, a retail complex at the heart of the Pudong New Area. With a focus on wellness and sustainability, the mall is an open-plan and lane-driven architecture reminiscent of an organic valley, offering shoppers a diverse mix of culture and commerce. Bringing a continuity between architecture and interiors, Lukstudio extends the layered stone facade into the multi-level cinema as stacking contours and creates a manufactured “canyon”.
The main lobby on 3rd floor is designed as a social spot for cinephiles to hangout before or after the show. Shaped by sinuous walls and a glossy floor mimicking water, the “canyon” naturally directs circulation flow along the curvy facade.
Concession, self-service ticket kiosks and elevator lobby are envisioned as man’s intervention in nature, and they take on a contrasting industrial look with metal panels and rivet details.
The undulating “water” floor leads to a double-height hall lined with floor-to-ceiling glazing. Here, at the northwest corner, our manufactured landscape takes on a terrace form. The organic platforms not only create a diversified passage way between two floors, they also integrate a bookstore dedicated to cinematography and movie culture branded The Kubrick.
Accommodating both casual hangout and big social events, the design adds new possibilities to the conventional cinema experience, welcoming shoppers to pause and relax, movie-goers to discover about their favourite genres, or movie-makers to share their insights after a première.
The "canyon" continues along the passage to the cinema halls on 2nd and 4th floors. The stacking planes are down-scaled according to the single-storey space, yet the effect is more dramatic and mysterious, cultivating a sense of exploration in the spectators before their cinematic excursion.
The washroom concept is inspired by the nomadic living. Light structure, curved form and outdoor textures where adopted to conjure an organic atmosphere. A multi-faceted mirror wall captures a psychedelic moment, perhaps unexpectedly transports the “travelers” to a special elsewhere. The theatres are envisioned as crystal caves where triangulated formations create an immersive environment. Black, grey and navy acoustic panels compose the final “caves” of different sizes and heighten the cinematic experience.
The MOViE MOViE and Kubrick Project challenges the status quo of a conventional cinema and creates a destination of a cinematic world. Going to the cinema is no longer only about watching a movie, but a social and cultural discovery in our physical world. Taking inspiration from nature, Lukstudio aims to create a backdrop for urbanites to rekindle their adventurous spirits.