9 Square Shopping Center by RTKL, Chengdu – China

July 7th, 2014 by retail design blog

Located in the Sichuan capital of Chengdu, 9 Square Chengdu consists of 78,000-SM of retail and entertainment. Taking advantage of its location within the civic district and adjacent to a city park the building presents two different facades, a bolder streamlined elevation facing the primary roadway and a layered, varied elevation opening onto outdoor plazas connecting to the park.

While the design of the building is contemporary and efficient it was important to us that we reflect some of the city’s rich heritage. Special exterior perforated metal panels were created celebrating Chengdu’s famous woven brocades. The panels incorporate patterns found in these traditional weavings and create a subtle texture on the façade during the day and are back lit with changing color creating a more dramatic yet sophisticated expression at night.

This reference to the Chengdu brocade is continued and explored further throughout the interiors. The interior is comprised of an elliptical center court with two mall legs flowing out on either side. The ceiling of the curved side of the mall is highlighted by a sweeping band of patterned punched and back lit metal recalling similar details from the building façade. Countering this the glass handrail on the straight side of the mall is laminated with colored bands of translucent silk fabric that flow up through the space connecting the various floors and highlighting the form and materials of the brocade.

In the center court crisscrossing lines of light and fiber optic run vertically along the bulkhead and create a loose web of woven threads to speak to the structure and the craft of making the brocades. Additional detail of pattern and form from the underside of the escalators to the vanities in the restroom speak to the flowing form and texture of the brocade fabric. 9 Square Shopping Center received LEED 2.0 certification for core and shell.

Designed by RTKL
Photos © RTKL/David Whitcomb

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