With a tip of the hat to Chinese culture and urban context, Aedas crafted a thoughtful approach for the Olympia 66 retail complex, providing generous community spaces and plazas with integrated landscapes
Even before it was built, Aedas' Olympia 66 was winning awards, from being shortlisted at the Global RLI Awards in 2011 in the Future Projects category, to triumphing at the Cityscape Awards for Architecture in Emerging Markets 2013 in the Future Retail Project category.
Other wins along the way to the completion of the complex in December last year include Best Retail Architecture at the International Property Awards 2011; a bronze for Best Chinese Futura Projects at MIPIM Asia Awards 2011; and for Best Retail Architecture, Asia Pacific and 5-Star, Best Retail Architecture, China, at the Asia Pacific Commercial Property Awards 2011.
Designed by Aedas for Hang Lung Properties, Olympia 66 is a statement of innovative design as a landmark, located in the city of Dalian, China. The design team, headed by Aedas directors Christine Lam and David Clayton, devised a concept which is a respectful tip of the hat to Chinese culture and urban context, with the thoughtful approach to its relationship to the street providing generous community spaces and plazas with integrated landscapes.
At seven storeys tall, this shopping mall grasps the fine balance between complex form and function, responding to its immediate surroundings and local community, and providing the largest shopping, lifestyle and leisure complex in Dalian. Combining both luxury and lifestyle retail, Olympia 66 sits adjacent to Olympia Square, a sequence of squares along the main avenue of the city's Zhongshan Lu.
To the east sits People's Square, the home of the municipal government, while to the west is Xinghai Square. With great visibility from Zhongshan Lu and Wusi Lu, the project has good road transport connections and a link to the new underground railway.
The intent was for Olympia 66 to create a contemporary statement with an oriental overtone, defining it as an iconic city destination. The design drew inspiration from the twin carp, a symbol of wealth and abundance in Chinese culture, typically used in Lunar New Year paintings.
The interplay of two swimming carp inspired a dynamic form which allows a loop circulation flowing through a continuous chain of retail, atrium and event spaces to the sky-plaza and central roof garden. Internal curving arcs resemble the dancing carp with the expression of a series of simple shells, with the tail flowing over a curving central spine.
The shells on the roof are layered to create clear storey glazing, allowing direct and reflected light into the two atrium spaces. The main façade is composed of hexagonal modules with various lighting effects recapturing the reflective scales of a carp.
USE OF SPACE
The building form enhances urban connectivity and integration through multiple entrances. The continuous shop frontage at street level not only provides great visibility of retail but also makes the building totally permeable at ground level. Main entrances are prominently defined and open into generous event spaces allowing a pause before joining the vortex of circulation.
The enormous floor area is divided into open event spaces and retail areas with a central spine which runs through the centre of the mall, linking two large atria on each side and diagonally linking the corner entrances. Leisure activities and event spaces are sequenced along the retail route providing opportunities for visitors to rest at a cafe or take in an exhibition. Landscaped terraces wrap around the building further enhancing a relaxing shopping environment. Integrated digital signage is implemented to direct visitors the shortest routes to destinations within the building.
Three floors of basement provide service docks and 1,400 car parking spaces. Basement circulation is enhanced by the underground railway connection and two passenger drop-offs located at the sunken courtyards at B1 level.
A major element of Olympia 66's striking form are its six blade roofs, extending to cover an area of more than 60,000 sq-m. With climate and weather being key considerations, the standing seam metal roofing system was carefully chosen to strike a balance between function, beauty and economy — annual rainfall in Dalian is among the heaviest in northern China, so ensuring a leak-proof ceiling was critical.
Additionally, four of the six blade roofs contain a large skylight, featuring high-performance insulated glass enabling a well-lit space without causing increases in the complex's indoor temperature. Meanwhile, on ground level and the terrace, full-height (5-10m) shopfronts display or exhibit products and wares, protected by glazing with low reflectance, low iron, and no tinted glass, Also forming part of the building envelope are oversized double curvature aluminium panels, designed using computer software.
In response to the northern Chinese climate, the largely solid insulated roof creates overlapping blades and clear storey glazing to allow direct light into the atrium while shading summer sun, thus preventing heat loss in winter and solar gain in summer. The roof blades also serves as a big light shelf to maximise reflected light down into the atrium spaces. The project is pre-certified with a LEED Gold rating.
KEY PROJECT FACTS
Client Hang Lung Properties
Site area 63,400 sq m
Gross floor area 221,900 sq m
Floors 7 storeys above ground; 3 basement floors
Design architect Aedas
Directors Christine Lam and David Clayton
Structural engineer Ove Arup & Partners Hong Kong
E&M engineer Parsons Brinckerhoff Asia
Quantity surveyor Langdon & Seah China
Traffic consultant MVA Hong Kong
Lighting designer DUO Lighting & Design Associates
This is an excerpt from the “Like A Fish To Water" article from the October 2016 issue of Perspective magazine.
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