On a restrictive, mountainous site, sits the Chengde Tianshan Retail Center which a fusion of ancient Chinese culture and new age technology as its form is inspired by classical dragon mythology but its design is contemporary in every way.

Conceived by the Sunlay Design Group this mixed use shopping center first had a challenge of responding to its unique terrain and still retaining optimum viability in terms of usable floor space. Its fluid, curvilinear form creates an interwoven mix of indoor and outdoor activities and spaces. The building wraps around the site’s edges sloping gently from the ground to a point of prominence where it can easily be seen in from the neighbouring town. This entrance where the journey of elevation begins, creates a flexible plaza of sorts that can be used for congregation, relaxation, and performance. As shoppers move beyond this plaza, they will be greeted with a commercial thoroughfare defined by steel panels and glass.  At the end of this stretch will be a circular courtyard that forms the core of the building through which users can access retail shops, restaurants, a cinema, karaoke bar, and hotel.

 

A prominent part of the design is the fiery custom cladding used on the facade, similar to the scales on a dragon, enveloping the entirety of the interwoven structure and adding a distinctive visual character.

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[via archdaily]

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