CIFI House is a 30,000 sqm, eight-storey shopping mall located in the Fangshan District of Beijing. The project’s small size and big commercial ambitions led CLOU to challenge old notions of retail space and look beyond the shopfront.
At the beginning of CLOU’s interior design process for this project, its small volume, relatively large number of storeys and distance from central Beijing were pinpointed as design challenges. How to ensure footfall into the upper and less accessible areas of this mall became the problem CLOU would solve by an innovative design solution.
A number of key spaces were located at the ends of the box-shaped mall, creating uniquely themed atriums at the third, fourth, and sixth floor. Anchor shops such as a gym, children’s education centres and a cinema occupy opposite ends of the mall, complementing the three atriums. The entire space thus becomes a ‘well-rounded’ system without cold zones, driving the circulation upwards and around the proposal.
A key strategy was also to blur the threshold between retail units and communal space so commercial activity could spread out into the shared space creating a lively and spatially generous environment.
SMALL BUT UNIQUE
A sequence of atriums and larger communal spaces have the collective theme of ‘a day in CIFI House’ whereby domestic rooms serve as the inspiration to each space. From the entrance level visitors can explore upwards through ‘The Salon’, ‘The Gallery’, ‘The Lounge, ‘The Yard’ and ‘The Library’, each of which have particular retail tenants to complement their theme. CIFI House proves that, despite a small size, a good design solution can still ensure a variety of spatial experiences.