Images: NL Architects
Retail is a burgeoning sector in the AEC industry and we regularly get sent inventive shop designs where creative architects and designers have thought outside the box to ignite intrigue in passers-by, drawing them into newly-crafted retail venues. In 2010 we featured Bohlin Cywinski Jackson’s Apple Store in Pudong and more recently Mangera Yvars Architects’ design for Tesco in Nottingham which made it to the shortlist of the 2012 WAN AWARDS Commercial Sector.
One of the most exciting new retail developments we have discovered is NL Architects’ concept for a supermarket at Sanya Lake Park in China. The Amsterdam-based team were approached by Housing Corporation VANKE to design a supermarket for the southernmost city in China as part of a future resort consisting of three 21-storey residential slabs with semi-enclosed gardens.
The team explains: “Supermarkets tend to create big impenetrable surfaces; their planning logic often lends to ‘blind’ facades. Or to facades that are covered in advertisements. Often the expression is rather cheap for this is what the core-business boils down to: to evoke the sensation of competitiveness.”
NL Architects moved away from this oft-used approach by pushing the main supermarket activities underground. This way, shoppers arriving by car could access the store directly and all delivery and logistics could also move underground. This underground activity is designed to extend beneath the three planned high-rise residential towers on a triangular plot.
To draw attention to the retail facility above ground, NL Architects suggest a pavilion of retail and cafes topped with a stepped landscape for the enjoyment of shoppers. The open-air green public space has been inspired by rice paddies and is intended to provide a scenic view for the residents of the planned high-rise buildings nearby as well as welcome relaxation and social space for shoppers.
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