Mixed-Use Cultural Venue Morph in Shenzhen, China by Various Associates | Yellowtrace

Mixed-Use Cultural Venue Morph in Shenzhen, China by Various Associates | Yellowtrace

Mixed-Use Cultural Venue Morph in Shenzhen, China by Various Associates | Yellowtrace

Mixed-Use Cultural Venue Morph in Shenzhen, China by Various Associates | Yellowtrace

 

Various Associates were engaged to design MORPH, a mixed-use venue of 1,000 sqm, located in Nanshan District in Shenzhen, China. Occupying a corner of a building, with an urban park and Houhai business circle nearby, it’s a rare tranquil place amidst the hustle and bustle of the downtown area. MORPH means transformation and evolution in Chinese. The aim was to produce a vigorous and brand new social space, to introduce and hold various cultural, artistic and musical events, with a view to bring new vitality to the city.

Taking into account the context of Shenzhen — a new city, Various Associates utilised traditional and local materials to collide with the modern interior structural forms, fusing gradually-forgotten Chinese old elements with modern designs and an international aesthetic. The designers’ idea was to realise collisions within the space through a diversified material palette, contrasting interior scenes as well as a division of multiple functional areas.

Throughout this project, Various Associates explored and worked on solutions to tackle the disappearance of traditional Chinese materials, by adopting unique design approaches to innovate the way of using traditional materials and redefining their use in modern designs.

 

Mixed-Use Cultural Venue Morph in Shenzhen, China by Various Associates | Yellowtrace

Mixed-Use Cultural Venue Morph in Shenzhen, China by Various Associates | Yellowtrace

Mixed-Use Cultural Venue Morph in Shenzhen, China by Various Associates | Yellowtrace

Mixed-Use Cultural Venue Morph in Shenzhen, China by Various Associates | Yellowtrace

 

Walls and ceilings are mainly clad in sand-colour natural travertine, which adds a subtle texture to the dramatic volume as well as presents a visual impression of modernity. In combination with the brass connections and holes finished with gold foil, they form a striking contrast with surrounding buildings visually. Lightweight yet massive, composed yet prudent, transparent yet closed, the space is awash with contrasting elements.

The colour palette is inspired by the Forbidden City, consisting of red, blue, black, yellow and gold. The five hues of these Chinese characteristics are reorganised, interpreted and transformed into a modern approach within the space, integrating the interior structures, producing visual highlights.

The matte black walls are covered with a new environmentally-friendly material, made from a modern update on a traditional black tile, seen on the floor of Forbidden City’s palaces. The blue curved doors are wrapped in traditional Chinese fabric, hand-dyed by experienced craftsmen. At the centre of the space is a high wall, which features an orthodox blue colour. Gold is dotted throughout the space, which is rendered by gold foil, adding warmth and natural texture. Each piece of foil was stuck by hand, echoing to the way gold buddha statues in temples are clad. Layer upon layer, the gauze-resembling gold foil showcases unique grains and textures.

 

Mixed-Use Cultural Venue Morph in Shenzhen, China by Various Associates | Yellowtrace

Mixed-Use Cultural Venue Morph in Shenzhen, China by Various Associates | Yellowtrace

Mixed-Use Cultural Venue Morph in Shenzhen, China by Various Associates | Yellowtrace

Mixed-Use Cultural Venue Morph in Shenzhen, China by Various Associates | Yellowtrace

Mixed-Use Cultural Venue Morph in Shenzhen, China by Various Associates | Yellowtrace

Mixed-Use Cultural Venue Morph in Shenzhen, China by Various Associates | Yellowtrace

 

A key design intervention of the project is the creation of a mezzanine. A circular and flexible circulation connects all functional areas, and structural languages match with the materials featuring strong hues.

Another bold intervention is the slightly oblique and curved, double-height structure into the geometric space. The structure is set between the lounge and the activity area with the black walls perfectly presenting a geometric aesthetic via the collision between materials and structures. Looking up from the lower floor, it enhances spatial transparency and establishes a visual connection between the two floors.

MORPH is a bar, an event venue and a transformable space, available for facilitating the interaction between human and city in a cultural context. Functional areas are set around a 7-meter-high activity space at the centre. With capacity for 100 people, theatre acoustics, and spatial installations which can be replaced irregularly, it’s adaptive to various types of activities and provides local people with a fantastic place to socialise.

Just as its name indicates, MORPH keeps evolving and transforming to face the different challenges of the city, bringing with it, infinite possibilities.Click To Read Entire Post

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