Photos: Brian Zhang
Small and poorly-lit malls where you have to nudge your way through throngs of customers in narrow pathways are no longer de rigueur
in China. Developers are competing at a breakneck pace to build the country’s most dazzling malls.
In an era when mixed-use developments are all the rage in China, what makes a mall stand out? Gigantic and versatile, located amid a beautiful landscape in Qingdao, the new MixC Mall, tailored to design conscious international visitors, might have the answer.
Integrated into the China Resources Centre, the mixed-use development occupies a sprawling 450,000 metre-square, boasting seven levels and three basement floors. Aside from an enviable retail selection, the mall also includes a roof garden, an Olympic-standard ice skating rink, indoor Sega-run indoor amusement park and a children’s area.
Tasked with creating a new outlook for the MixC Mall series, Benoy
employed a minimalist aesthetic for MixC Qingdao. Paying tribute to Qingdao’s status as a major seaport, various elements within the mall are connected by a series of undulating lines. White is the adopted palette with natural stone applied to the walls in public areas.
The flooring was constructed with beige tinted reconstituted stone and timber pattern tiles. According to Emily WS Wong, senior associate director at Benoy, it was meant to remind one of the golden sandy beaches which line the coast of Qingdao.
Meanwhile, patterned glass and timber pattern metal are used in areas leading to the lifts and washrooms, as a way of breaking up the swathes of white and to reflect the city’s natural offerings.
Gypsum board and GRG materials deck the ceilings and void edges, ensuring durability and versatility. The latter is especially important given that entertainment is a key function of mixed-use malls.
At the atrium, white vertical panels give the impression of lightness and elongation while paying tribute to the city’s natural landscape.