Palace Cinema─Raffles City Changning Shanghai

Design Brief & Project Background
Located in a long-developed commercial and residential neighborhood of Puxi Shanghai, the site is only 20 minutes away from Hongqiao airport or popular traveler-spot the Bund. Occupying the top level of this brand new shopping mall, CapitaLand Raffles City, developed by the Singapore developer giant CapitaLand, the site has a sun-filled opened atrium that connects the public areas to nine distinct theatre houses.

The project brief was to create the fifth top-of-the-notch cinema in the metropolitan Shanghai for this HK-based cinema operator, to showcase well-selected movies in nine theatres, while one of the largest theatres equipped with latest laser projection technology to produce super highresolution images on a gigantic screen.

Overall Spatial Planning
The approach of space planning was an artistic process that is meant to create inspiring and striking spatial experience, while at the same time designer has to cope with practicality from operation needs. Design team created the public space so that people would reach the cinema first through atrium’s escalator or passenger lifts. Their first approach would be the ticketing counter in past practice, yet due to latest IoT development there are more than sixty percentages of tickets transactions being done online these days in Mainland China. Thus, instead of a large ticketing counter, the counter was reduced into an elegant size concierge counter, while lots of space reserved for automatic ticketing machine for people to collect tickets through IoT system.

The provision of lots of function space and waiting space are essential in cinema design, there are needs for cinema operator to host various movie-related events and sometime for other noncommercial events. The design team created a hall that can host functions for occasions, while during daily practice it could serve as a drink bar and waiting hall. The approach to various theatres are direct, there is a ticketcheck point that would lead to various theatres through a corridor.

Concept & Inspirations
The design team studied the site and at the same time researched on the history of film in general, fascinated by the film industry and inspired by many great directors of the past and now. Designer recognized the importance of ‘the script’ that forms the storyline and designs every spoken line in the movies, in the form of a ‘script booklet’. While at the same time, inspired by children’s play of animation flip book the design team was inspired to design and represent the form of the ‘Script’ booklet and ‘Flipbook’ at the same time.


Materials, Colours & Light
The overall color tones in the public area were completed with nature-inspired colours, such as wood, natural stone and off white. The design team aimed to utilize colours and vibe from nature to create a welcoming vibe, to invite people and make them feel comfortable. In order to create a theatrical backdrop for best enjoying movies, colour tones within the theatres were mostly darker tones such as black, grey and glimpse of red. Acoustic panels were carefully selected and installed onto all walls and ceilings incorporated designer’s touch of lighting strips that shaped the boxy theatre space in layers.

Design Realization
Inspired by the idea of ‘flipbook’ and ‘script booklet’, the design was to create the animation of still images in 3D forms through the use of timber-pattern-face metal fins. These repetitive fins were arranged to create organic forms through latest computer 3D-drawing technology through a long-thinking process, that created essence of various functional space, such as the ticketing counter, concession counter, waiting and function hall, and importantly the dramatically transitional approach to theatres through ‘the flipbook’ tunnel.

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