Wutopia Lab was invited to design KerryOn Living Room on the 4th floor of JAKC (Jing An Kerry Centre) in Shanghai, China. As the benchmarking of shopping mall in Shanghai and even in the country, JAKC hopes to upgrade retail services through this project, which can provide a rest and consulting place for visitors, and can turn into a children’s paradise by holding various parent-child activities at weekends.
“My wife and I live near JAKC,” says Yu Ting, founder of Wutopia Lab. “As customers, we are familiar with the mall, and have a lot of experiences. This project provides an opportunity for us to modify and activate the public space through design.”
The most iconic symbol representing JAKC is the artistic work like red clouds high in the atrium of the mall. It naturally becomes the first half of an antithesis, to which Wutopia Lab responds with the blue hill-scape under the red clouds.
Wutopia Lab aims to create an abstract natural space in the most commercial place. “We integrated traditional aesthetics and modern materials. After defining the basic prototype of ‘hill’ and carefully picking three colors, we created a blue-green hill-scape by perforated aluminum panels in layers.”
The artistic conception of hills layer upon layer in faintly varied green color is 3-dimensionally presented in the shopping mall. It seems as if there was light through the landscape, as well as a new world. At the entrance, a meandering path leads to the secluded interior space which is partly hidden and partly visible shaded by the layers of aluminum panels, arousing the curiosity of visitors.
The concierge is located at the end of the meandering path, where is arranged for children to change shoes and for parents to wait. Turn in from the concierge is an open space which is the children’s playground. With freely curved tables, animal-shaped bookshelves and arch lights, a relaxing and lively, abstract and beautiful new world for children is created.
Outside the hills is mirror-finished stainless steel like water in which the green hills are reflected. This is a little manifesto and a little miracle in the commonly seen retail atmosphere of the shop. “My wife and I think that the shopping mall boasts mature and exquisite design, but somewhat lacks of some imagination,” explains Ting.
The imagination helped Wutopia Lab create a free and relaxing paradise by means of magical realism in the shopping mall which is filled with practical and urban elite atmosphere. It is for children, as well as for the middle-aged who are trapped in their routine life.