Wushang Zhongyan Mall International Cinema

Merit Award 2015

Inspired by blockbuster films and especially mega-blockbuster disaster movies, One Plus Partnership created a one-of-a-kind immersive environment for the Wushang Zhongyan Mall International Cinema in Wuhan, China. Visualizing scenes from movies like Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow, they created scenes that could easily convince theater-goers they walked into a real film setting.

Inside the cinema, dramatic dimensional boxes explode from the architecture. Rectangular-shaped concession stands and kiosks are planted at assorted angles, camouflaging themselves against a background that recalls meteors in space or debris in flight after an explosion. On the ceiling above the concession area, a super-scaled rectangular LED box can play movies or ambient dynamic graphics. A black and white color scheme evokes a futuristic setting. 

Along the corridor, the vibe of disaster movies lingers. Several three-dimensional white-coated metal pillars grow in different directions, enacting the scenes after disasters, whereas buildings were being destroyed and scattered around. These irregularly-shaped pillars crisscross with each other to give a unique visual effect. Some of them elongate into seating. The lights on the ceiling are also shaped like pillars, leaning in different directions and at varying angles, visualizing the chaotic scenes further. In the washroom, pillars elongate from the ceiling, minimizing the room space to create a sense of pressure. Several square basins look like the debris after disasters.

Gray three-dimensional square-shaped boxes of sound-absorbing materials surround the auditorium, pointing toward altered angles. Some boxes enclose light sources, which give out light in this “sea of darkness.” The monotone of gray engulfing the mimics the effect of concrete rubble scattered in the vicinity after a huge explosion. Different lengths of black and white stripes in the VIP room continue the three-dimensional theme, adding an edge to welcome special guests.

Jury Comments: 

“Talk about going against the predictable paradigm of theater design. The complex system of rectangular shapes and forms that project into the interior spaces add tension and real drama in a new and unexpected way. Adding technology to a select number of the angular surfaces provides the perfect level of cinematography to the experience.”

“One part pixelated video game, two-thousand parts C4 explosives. The frozen carbonite-like structures are reminiscent of a James Bond villain’s hideout built in the year 2112. Slicing through the center, an LED monolith hangs in the balance and anchors the room with a vibrant splash of media. If Stanley Kubrick were alive today, his Mindcraft maps would look like this. Bold and powerful placemaking.

Design Firm: 

One Plus Partnership (Hong Kong) Limited

Client: 

Hubei Insun Cinema Film Co., Ltd.

Location City: 

Wuhan

Project Area: 

66,740 sq ft

Open Date: 

December 2014

Project Budget: 

$6,200,000

Photo Credits: 

Jonathan Leijonhufvud

Design Team: 

Ajax Law Ling Kit and Virginia Lung

Consultants: 

N/A

Fabricators: 

Zhejiang Zili Construction Group Co. Ltd. (auditorium contractor), Wuhan QinXin Construction Group Co., Ltd. (public space contractor)

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