Powerhouse Company has completed its most recent project in Beijing, China. The 1,000 m2 project, located on the ground floor of the Yintai centre at Guomao, is a multifunctional social venue with ski and snowboard simulators, a sports area and dance club, all shaped in a white mountain landscape under a warm golden sky. The project is located between JianWai SOHO and the Park Hyatt hotel.
The site is the latest addition to John Portman’s Yintai Centre, and with a full glass facade it gives the project great exposure in the CBD area of Beijing. Powerhouse Company was asked by developer Yintai to design the interior for their ski and sports experience centre called inSports.
This high-end multifunctional venue facilitates activities like virtual skiing, virtual sports and endurance classes, while placing them in a social setting. Projections on floor and walls create a wide array of simulated environments. During the night the area is turned into a dance club. inSports follows a new trend in Chinese retail where live action and participation becomes an integral part of the retail experience.
The simulators function like a sideways treadmill; you can move left and right on your skis or snowboard while looking at a large screen with a projection of an idilic, dazzling snow slope which finely follows your movement for optimal experience results. This virtual aspect of the skiing intrigued the design team, and they created the concept of a digital summit scenery.
Large triangles on a variety of platforms visualise mountains that organise the multifunctional area in a natural yet fluent way. The main seating elements around the ski simulators are integrated into the mountain shapes, and the triangular language is continued in central interior elements like the bar with DJ-booth and reception desk.
The mountain landscape is constructed in white corian, which forms a harmonious contrast with the light grey sports floor and the golden anodised aluminium ceiling panels. The bold interior columns are cladded in large mirror panels making the structure disappear.
A softer edge is given to the space with dark fabric panels, which cover the walls and improve the acoustics of the space. The bar and reception desk are both a combination of golden triangles and frosty white marble. A snowlike gradient covers the facade, and creates a beautiful and soft winter feeling for this cool new venue in China’s capital city.
Design and photography: Powerhouse Company