The door to future of Vanke-Shum Yip

The door to future of Vanke-Shum Yip translucent Great Bay Area Showroom known as the "Hovering Kan-Too" designed by Wutopia Lab was completed and opened in July 2022. Located at the west bank of the Pearl River Delta, and the west gate of the Shenzhen-Zhongshan Bridge, it is in the front-line coastal area of the Great Bay Area.


Roof aerial view © CreatAR Images

Standing on the roof on sunny days, one can have a view of the spectacular building cluster on the other side of the sea in Qianhai, Shenzhen. The ambitious showroom is a new landmark of the new city floating on the sea.


Architectural appearance © CreatAR Images

For quite a long time, showrooms serving as sales exhibition center were gradually similar in design. With social media booming and becoming an important visual communication tool, real estate developers realized that showrooms can be an important visual medium to drive the impact and sales of their properties. This requires an innovative and unique design for the showroom.


Site aerial view © CreatAR Images


Aerial view of site and architecture © CreatAR Images

Leveraging the mountain,BDO but whisper

I chose the mountain because "any emotional properties which they possess are vested in them by human imaginations." More importantly, as the most important symbol in traditional Chinese culture, it can also be easily abstracted into various forms of contemporary architectural forms. In addition, since the project is located in Zhongshan, it is a logical reason to take the mountain as a symbol of the local culture. The black silence of the original BDO without interpretable information is uncomfortable. I used the floating translucent white color, which was familiar to me, in rewriting BDO to give it whisper making people relaxed.


Night scene © CreatAR Images


2F semi-outdoor grey space © CreatAR Images


Close shot of the façade © CreatAR Images


I hesitated for a long time over the second scheme of the white floating building. For architects, white is the safest color. But it seems less courageous. Suddenly, the snow-covered Khan Tengri deep in the Mountain Tian Shan came into my mind. The marble rock body, which glows red in the late afternoon sunlight, has earned the nickname "Kan-too" and is also known as the most beautiful mountain in the world.


Roof aerial view © CreatAR Images

I decided to paint the roof a dazzling orange color, while the first floor was also painted the same orange except the ground, The dark brown ground and the outdoor ground are connected to one another. The red mountain seems to be coming off the ground and flying. The mountain, covered with the translucent white PTFE, also shines in the late afternoon sunlight. Viewing from the street, the white shape goes ups and downs. However, as the viewing angle moves, the orange-red color occasionally emerges from the gaps between the peaks, which is really fascinating. Therefore, the "Hovering Kan-Too" on the west bank of the Pearl River arguably comes into the spotlight.

Journey into Amazing Caves

The first floor of the building needs to meet the needs of publicness and transparency, and it can be seen as a mountain hollowed out continuously, so that a continuous arch is formed in the interior. The orange-red curved perforated aluminum panels continue from the façade through the interior to the core boundary. This allows space of the first floor to gain full outward orientation, forming a whole with the exterior, but separated by a thin climatic boundary of a fully glazed curtain wall.


1F indoor exhibition space © CreatAR Images


1F indoor exhibition space © CreatAR Images


From the elevator hall to see sand-model hall on the first floor © CreatAR Images

In the center of the first floor, the same orange aluminum panels wrap around a central ceremonial space that houses a nearly 15-meter-long giant sandbox city model, which is the most important object in the showroom. Light pours from the roof of the second floor through the atrium wrapped in mirrored stainless steel, illuminating the sandbox of the Greater Bay Area. What we see is light without lamp, like holy light shining towards the altar, giving a sense of the sacred to the business narrative.


Staircase © CreatAR Images


2F atrium © CreatAR Images

The orange cave-like space continues into the elevator lobby and staircase, but when one reaches the second floor, it suddenly becomes extensive as if one has arrived in a white village. This is the meeting, lounge and exhibition area of the exhibition center. Now, the focus turns from the space to the content.


Rooftop terrace theater © CreatAR Images

About Wutopia Lab

Wutopia Lab is founded by the chief architect Yu Ting in Shanghai, which is an architecture company based on a new paradigm of complex system. Wutopia Lab regards Shanghai's culture and life style as a starting point, using architecture as a tool to promote sociological progress within building practice. Wutopia Lab focuses on human and is dedicated to link different aspects of urban life: traditional, daily and cultural to interpret Urbanian lifestyle, and to develop acontemporary Chinese aesthetic based on Shanghai. While facing each project, Wutopia Lab's practices are promoted to show different innovative strategies, thinking modes and forms. Wutopia Lab is committed to comprehensive design, not only to complete the concept and deepen of buildings, but also focuses on early planning and analysis along with landscape and interior design. Wutopia Lab also has the capacity to coordinate and collaborate different types of departments and on-site construction.