LocationNingbo Zhejiang, China
Architect in ChargeLAB Architecture Studio, SIADR
Design TeamDonald Bates, Alexander Adkins, Dean Boothroyd, John Doyle, Nicole Tang, Sam Kashuk, Tim Fowler, Kourosh Akbarza
Text description provided by the architects. LAB studied potential solutions which addressed the dual client requirement for the design of a ‘new face’ to the retail centre, coupled with economic considerations of ease of fabrication and construction and staging to minimise disruption to daily operations to meet an aggressive and ambitious construction schedule.
The repetitious triangular fractal pattern is based on the polish Mathematician Warclaw Sierpinski’s fractal and attractive fixed set that is reproducible at any magnification or reduction, and that can be broken down into a ‘rep-tile’ of smaller self-replicating tilings to form smaller copies of the same shape.
The resulting 18,000m2 façade screen is suspended outside of the building form to create the pattern, and serves to unify the disparate existing retail components, parapet height, entries, openings which are ‘glued’ together by an arcaded circulation which finds a common expression at each of the entry gates.
Ease of construction and effective staging resulted in the plaza maintaining normal hours of operation with minimal disruption to tenants. The modular tile repetition system was able to be optimized to reduce the individual tile shapes by 75% from the original design with all of the elements fabricated by local contractors adding to the surrounding economy.
In addition, the scope of the project also includes LED night lighting integrated into the fractal pattern with entry gates and advertising spaces and signage to promote retailers and tenants and adding to the economic viability of the complex with minimal disruption to the façade language.