Oft Interiors’ recently-completed Emperor UA Cinemas – Foshan combines hard, geometric cuts and grandiose materials for a futuristic aesthetic, writes Christie Lee.
It’s becoming increasingly more difficult for entertainment centres to vie for attention, given how many are sprouting up all over the country. Yet, the latest multiplex to come our way, the Emperor UA Cinemas in Foshan, has one doing a double take.
The design studio responsible for the project, up-and-coming Hong Kong-based firm Oft Interiors, had an ambitious goal from the get-go. “We believe that the cinema itself forms a part of the movie-viewing experience. A good theatre design should convey a sense of fantasy, enabling movie-goers to slowly transition from reality to the world of cinema,” says Ken Cheung from Oft Interiors.
The cinema houses 12 theatre halls and accommodates up to 1,700 people. A monochrome palette dominates the lobby, ticketing area and corridors, while marble-lined walls and floors imbue the area with a sense of space and majesty. A monumental sculpture of sorts, the ceiling is conceived from a barrage of triangle and rhombus cut-outs, giving the illusion of serrated paper fins taking flight from above. The geometric-inspired design is echoed in the white marbled floor, where it appears to be dissected by stainless steel strips.
Beyond the expansive lobby, where movie-goers can gather prior to entering the cinema, the ticketing booth is – if we may – equally theatrical. Defined by severe lines and a singular shape, it appears to be ‘punched out’ spontaneously from the back wall. Meanwhile, the black oak finishes on the surrounding columns impart a sense of serenity.
Inside the cinema halls, the walls are luxuriously wrapped in hexagonal blue fabric, at once upping the ante on the dramatic experience and creating a cocooning effect, allowing patrons to kick back snugly in their seats for a top-notch cinematic experience.