CLOU architects was commissioned by Vanke to design the fourth-floor atrium of the newly opened Future City Mall in Qingdao. Located in Qingdao’s northern district, Vanke Future City is a brand-new shopping and leisure destination devoted to mingling aesthetics, creativity, and social experiences, hoping to bring fresh vitality to Qingdao’s old town and its surroundings.
The crux of the design challenge was to create an iconic social space, tempting customers to the mall’s upper levels and energizing its retail and dining areas. This led to the concept of an immersive jungle garden.
Today’s consumers value comfort and intimacy in commercial and public spaces, and cherish nature, outdoors, wellness, and social interaction above all. Responding to this, the firm decided to integrate nature and art into an immersive space. Drawing inspiration from the paintings of Henri Rousseau, CLOU created a vibrant, experientially unique jungle garden.
Tropical Forest with Monkeys, Henri Rousseau
In the atrium’s central space, the firm chose a two-storey red cube structure as the focal point, surrounded by a jungle of plants and water. Reminiscent of the primitive and mysterious scenes in Rousseau’s paintings, the vibrant colours, light, and shade invoke an imaginative and dreamlike atmosphere.
CLOU chose bright red as a primary colour to create a striking visual impression to quickly grab people’s attention. Like the flowers and animals that populate Rosseau’s mysterious paintings, the firm created a dazzling contrast between the colourful subject, detailed background, and a pleasing sense of illusion.
A circular bridge on the first floor connects the central cube to its surrounding areas with varying staircases. Tropical greenery, seating, water features, and staircases create human-scale details, enhancing the walking experience and enticing customers to linger and explore. This alluring, outdoor feeling provides its visitors with a place where their imaginations can roam freely.
A variety of paths and steps create fun and interactive scenes for socializing, exploring, and taking photos. The entire atrium serves as a public space for the local community to relax and enjoy a perfect venue for joyful community events.
With the unique spatial experience created for Qingdao Future City, CLOU hopes to activate the social and artistic potential of the commercial space by creating a fun, intimate, and pleasurable place for creating lasting memories.
Photography: Zhu Runzi