Shanghai’s newest cinema experience opened its doors to the public in December. Perspective takes a look at the theatre’s design concept and execution by 4N Design Architects
Located in the Puxi neighbourhood of Shanghai is the city’s latest addition to the mall scene, Raffles City Changning Shopping Centre. The building was developed by Singapore-based real estate company, CapitaLand and is one of many developments the firm has opened across China, with plans to open more this year.
Occupying the top level of the Raffles City Shanghai, is a high-end cinema run by luxury operator, Palace Cinemas. Designed by Hong Kong-based firm 4N Design Architects, the space includes nine theatres, all of which open out onto to a sun-filled atrium that works to connect the space.
The design of Palace Cinema Raffles City took spacial planning into special consideration, as well as the changing factors of the modern cinematic experience. With 60 per cent of cinema-goers on the mainland buying tickets online, a traditionally large ticketing space was swapped for an elegant concierge counter as well as a number of automatic ticketing machines.
In addition to the ticketing desk, the lobby also includes plenty of space to host events and areas for those waiting on their showing times, a crucial factor for cinema design.
Inspired by the concept of a ‘flipbook’ or ‘script booklet’ used in movie making, the designers took this concept and applied it to the interiors. The firm as created a three dimensional feature using timber and metal fins arranged to created forms, waves and tunnel-like structures throughout the space. The theatres themselves are dramatic in their design, utilising darker tones (such as black, grey and splashes of red) to create the essence and theatrical mood.