Initially, the design was inspired by the iconic flower and symbol of Shanghai, the White Magnolia. Replicating the delicately curved petals of the flower, giant white sculptures hang from the ceiling, abstracted, deconstructed and then morphed into an exploded spacecraft. This key design element then posits the question: “What is Natural versus what is Artificial?”.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
“White Futura” is the second cinema in Shanghai alone designed by us for China Film Cinema City. This unique Cinema embodies a series of mind-blowing & complex concepts involving the Nature of our Universe (or Multiverse), it’s all about curves, exploded as well as folded elements, all giant in size. Moreover we were inventing distorted spheres and bubble-like spatial caverns (or negative entities) constantly in tension, creating a dynamic space that is taut with drama and powerfully futuristic.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
Because it’s not only about what it looks like but more importantly, it concerns what it means, explicit meanings or hidden ones. And here, the hidden layers are profoundly provocative as well as intriguing and sometimes even disturbing. Which is what any good cinema (and films) should be like in the first place.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
This project is started in December 2014 and finished in January 2016, as well as it located at Shanghai Hopson International Plaza, China.
FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Interior Space and Exhibition Design
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
Fibreglass was the material adopted for making these exploded giant white magnolias at the cinema’s entrance lobby. In addition, white marble, Corian, golden metal, white crystal glass, stainless steel and clear mirror were also critically applied throughout the spaces. The Design Team decided to work exclusively with pure materials devoid of textures or patterns to heighten the impact of the design as an “Abstracted Design Concept”.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
3,835 square meters
Number of Cinema Houses: 8 Typical House, 1 House of 3D Giant Screen
Number of Seats: 1,356
Number of Seats against Area: 35.36%
Cinema Design, Themed Cinema, Futuristic, White, Pure, Magnolia, Shanghai
Origin of Human Civilization
The concept is partially inspired by the Olympic Games Opening of 2004 in Athens with the Ancient Greek Minoan sculpture exploding into a series of abstracted spatial islands exposing more primal shapes from within and thus explaining the Origin and Evolution of Western Civilization in a stunningly beautiful dreamscape. Here, we have pushed it one step further by layering this phenomenon with the Giant White Magnolia representing Shanghai and exploding into fragment of an abstracted Spacecraft.
AI vs Genesis
If “Beyond Future” in Wuhan questions the origin of the Universe and its relationship with Artificial Intelligence as suggested by the seminal film “The Matrix”, then “White Futura” digs even deeper and questions the Origin of Life on Earth based on the controversial beliefs (as suggested by Zecharia Sitchin) stemming from artefacts of the Sumerian Civilization and their interpretation of Genesis through Nibiru, Tiamat and Anunnaki whose obsession with mining Gold from Planet Earth has become almost legendary. The Time Tunnel is a Golden Trail leading us deeper into the mystery of the Universe in plain sight with blazing white light. There are other controversial clues written on the walls inside the cinema houses related to key themes repeatedly exploited by “The X-Files”. This “Eyes Wide Shut” approach to design is secretly inspired by Kubrick’s beliefs and vision of our World & beyond.
Wheras for “White Futura”, the biggest challenge was a structural one as we had to hang a Giant “White Magnolia” sculpture at the top of Lobby Magnolia. Hanging this sculpture, its size that of a large exploded helicopter no less, involved discussing in detail with the Contractor regarding its structural balance and poise.
TEAM MEMBERS (7) :
Alexander Wong, Chet Xin, Andy Cheung, Eddie Wong, Johnny Liu, Roy Wong and Bobo Chan
Image #1: Photographer Hu Wenkit, White Futura, 2016.
Image #2: Photographer Hu Wenkit, White Futura, 2016.
Image #3: Photographer Hu Wenkit, White Futura, 2016.
Image #4: Photographer Hu Wenkit, White Futura, 2016.
Image #5: Photographer Hu Wenkit, White Futura, 2016.
Copyrights belong to Alexander Wong Architects Limited, 2016.