PhotographsCourtesy of tvsdesign
From the architect. More than a building design, the Tianjin Le Yuan Commercial Complex is a place for living. A place where nature and culture, fashion and entertainment, social interaction and contemplation are in harmony. The core of this concept is the belief that the commercial complex should open out to embrace the cultural activities and the natural amenities with the pedestrian flow of the grand promenade linking the Peoples Building and the Zhong Hua Opera House.
The global architecture and interior design firm, tvsdesign, celebrates the opening of Galaxy Mall, the retail portion of the Tianjin’s prestigious new Cultural Center District, which opened in October of 2012. With 360,000 square meters of total building area, Galaxy Mall ranks among the top five largest retail complexes in China, and is more than 80 percent leased.
Awarded the project upon winning an government sponsored international design competition in 2009, the tvsdesign team conceived of a commercial complex located on the northern edge of the cultural district arranged around a large central lake. The complex opens out to the cultural activities and pedestrian flow of the grand promenade linking the grand Theater and Opera House to the east and the museums, art gallery and library to the south. The central lake extends into the retail site as the water feature flows down a dramatic waterfall and into the below grade retail.
The retail center features five floors rising to a height of 30 meters above ground and a single below grade level linked to the adjacent subway terminals and underground parking. Creating a concept for the interior of the Galaxy Mall organized around four distinctly unique shopping experiences with the Sun, Moon, Star and Earth Courts, tvsdesign conceived of a unique feature in each court with shopping and dining opportunities.
Arranged along a gentle arc, the complex’s focal point is a crystalline building of feature restaurants. This faceted glass building is the sculptural icon of the Commercial Complex, creating a complementary building edge for the buildings across the lake while maintaining the visual prominence and importance of the Opera House.
“We had the opportunity and the responsibility to create a retail project that would be seen and experienced as an integral piece of the city’s new cultural landmark,“ said tvsdesign Principal, Mark Carter. “It demanded a combination of a respectful, sophisticated architecture and a dynamic shopping experience“.