Jewel of Shenzhen
A unique piece of architecture with its prismatic shapes, irregular planes and undulating volumes, evoking thoughts of an untouched gemstone nestled in a garden, was the goal of BLVD’s Interior Design Studio when tackling the Tian Yanbei North Garden Sales Gallery and Showroom project in Shenzhen, China. The primitive and pure tension of a “rough diamond” was the inspiration, and the resulting interior is an interpretation of the “Diamond Lattice” – the carbon atoms arranged in variations of a face centered crystal structure – creating a dramatic, theatrical and sculptural space that manipulates light and shadow, solid and void.
The design language, style and the ambience of the Sales Gallery and Showroom promoting contemporary residential properties to young, dynamic and upwardly mobile professionals in their twenties and thirties needed to communicate the trend and the lifestyle that was on offer. Prismatic geometry which is strong, bold, confident and definitive, much like the traits that are needed in today’s professional world, reflecting the crystallization inherent in a rough diamond was the inspiration for this dynamic interior.
Triangulated sculptured irregular surfaces – vertical, inclined or horizontal, fused together or free; whether used as a wall, window and ceiling or as a piece of furniture – defines, demarcates and dramatizes a strong visual identity and disseminates the initial conceptual idea. An abundance of natural light from all sides of the pavilion embraces the interior space creating further animated patterns across the surfaces as the sun moves across the sky.
“The space planning is quite straight forward with most of the guest spaces located on the ground floor level and the staff and administrative spaces on the first floor with the exception of two VIP rooms and the showpiece conference room being the only guest areas on the upper level,” says Honglei Liu, creative director at BLVD, an Ontario-based firm that works almost exclusively in Chinese markets.
At the entrance the guest is greeted at the model display with its overhanging triangular canopy and an inclined wall which doubles as the map exhibit, while to the left, the monolithic wood veneered prism like reception desk “grows” out of the surface of the floor and guides you to the main lounge space, the heart of the Sales Gallery, while the desk, now finished with the act of receiving, morphs into a water bar serving the lounge. When one finds their way to the lounge, the three dimensional volume of the Gallery also evolves unnoticed into a dramatic double height space embraced on all sides by solid and transparent faceted planes of the rough diamond. A conference room resembling a cut gemstone overhangs on the opposite end as if to notify the end of the journey or the final result of the lattice that crystallizes into the finished diamond.
Triangular lounge seating akin to fallen shards of glass, fragments from the creation of the ceiling, are arranged in a privacy encouraging fashion to assist with the serious task of negotiation. Polished chrome and white leather lounge seating and coffee tables, of a sophisticated modernist epoch, make up the remaining, more conventional, lounge space adjacent to the landscaped courtyard. Beyond the seating areas, forming a striking backdrop to the lounge, discreet VIP rooms are cocooned in sculptural, wood veneered enclosures providing a warm, secure environment that such spaces demand. The contrasting dark stripes in the ceiling with nestled lighting, define the sculptural facets while echoing the vibrant blue triangulated lattice pattern on the carpet bringing a touch of colour to the otherwise overall pure white space. Immediately to the right of the entrance the journey to the first floor begins via a sculptured conduit like stairs which seems to be carved from a single block of solid wood adding a touch of warmth and texture to the interior. Concealed edge lighting on the ceiling and the handrail, hollowed out of the side surface, guides to the guest to the VIP rooms and the main Conference Room on the upper level.
Dynamic and imaginative lines were drawn, shapes were molded and a sculpture that can be inhabited was created reflecting the timeless power, vitality and ageless beauty of a precious object born from the Earth itself, hopefully pointing the way and opening a door to an optimistic life of the future to a younger generation. A jewel sits patiently in a beautiful garden waiting to be discovered once again.