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Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

China Architecture News - Nov 12, 2020 - 15:45   6335 views

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Various Associates has created "futuristic" scenes and ambience for the interiors of a waiting hall in Shanghai, China. Named ATLATL Restaurant in Shanghai, the space is located in Zhangjiang High-tech Park in Pudong - known as China's "Silicon Valley", Shanghai integrates a wide spectrum of key cutting-edge industries such as biomedicine, integrated circuit and aerospace, and delivers knowledge about nature and society. 

Situated within the high-tech park, ATLATL Innovation Cluster is a R&D platform for life sciences. "Atlatl" is a Nahuatl word that means "spear thrower", which was invented by ancient hunters to maximize their hunting abilities. 

The word here implies the ancient traces of human innovation.

The waiting hall mixes geometries, green and blue colors that are softly combined with smooth-edged furnitures. The waiting hall presents a futuristic retro style concept offering a smooth transition in between surfaces, fixtures and furnitures. 

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Various Associates was entrusted to transform a disused space within the high-tech park into an ancillary facility for ATLATL. 

Occupying nearly 520 square meters, the space needs to bring in tasty coffee, food, wine and the collision with creativity and innovation, and aims to provide an intimate and artistic "body energy station" to high-level researchers.

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Considering special features of users and industries that the project serves, the client requested a futuristic spatial atmosphere. The definition of the notion about time is the key of the project: What's future? What's past? There are different understandings on "futuristic" at different times. In modern era, mankind's imagination of future has always been connected to mega images, such as universe, celestial bodies, and the trace of time.

Currently, our cognition has been unable to catch up with the rapid transformation and changes in this VUCA world. VUCA is an acronym that stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Comparing with past and present, "future" is a concept of time that will never come. The studio's imagination of technology and future in all aspects is composed of a series of scenes. 

As approaching the project, Various Associates utilized elements that are often associated with modern people's imagination of future, including circles, curves, dome ceiling and traces, to create more intuitive "futuristic" scenes and ambience in the space.

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

The storyline of the project is "Waiting Hall". The design team took the notion of "time" to measure future, and convey the message of waiting for future from day to day. In everyday life, we wait for sunrise, sunset and routine activities such as work, dining and gathering, while waiting for "future" as well.

Various Associates tried to start from "summarizing the past", and then deduced a futuristic spatial design experiment.  As opposed to adopting a one-direction timeline, the design took "present" as the origin, which extends in two directions and connect past glories with the vision of future, thereby creating "retro-futuristic" scenes which cross time.

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Geometric languages such as circle, curve and sphere are applied to interior structures, surfaces and furniture, echoing orbits of planets. By recreating mankind's initial imagined view of the universe, Various Associates produced a streamlined space filled with a comfortable and futuristic ambience.

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Design and fashion are an endless cycle. The project design drew inspiration from aesthetic achievements and technology explosion in the 20th century. 

Various Associates reinterpreted "futuristic" from a broader perspective, so as to conduct a spatial design experiment based on logic rather than sheer speculations. 

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

The space is dominated by a greyish green tone, which is a mixture of natural "green" hue and futuristic "grey" colour.  Surfaces of different shades, malleable materials, film-like expressions and geometric compositions result in a tactile space.

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

The ring "floating" in the atrium runs through the lower and upper areas.  From the atrium to water bar, restaurant area, bar area as well as semi-open and private sections, the space is laid out based on different functions and degrees of privacy. 

With a smooth circulation, the entire space is able to accommodate 200 people for dining, relaxing and socializing. Various Associates incorporated the ideas of "waiting hall" and "countdown" into spatial scenes that rewind time, while also bringing in stories and creating spatial rhythms.

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Retro style has always been prevailing. Various Associates utilized everlasting elegant and simplistic design languages to continue the deep impression that the 20th century left on the world. 

Classical hues such as green, blue and yellow are covered with a layer of "grey shade", which symbolizes the unknown and generates softer visual effects. 

Resin, glass panels, mirror-polished steel and other new materials are applied to streamlined functional blocks. Featuring ergonomic forms and soft leather upholstery, the customized chair and seat combinations offer comfortable experiences. 

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Comparing with present, future will never come, so it only exits in our imagination. However, classics which have stood the test of time imply a certain predictable trajectory of future. 

The space is like a "time door", which leads to the future whilst in fact bringing people back to the "relative past". Converting spatial experiment into something that's everlasting and thought-provoking is what Various Associates has been trying to do.

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Hand drawing

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Plan analysis-1

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Plan analysis-2

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Plan analysis-3

Various Associates creates retro-futuristic waiting hall in Shanghai

Circulation

Project facts

Project Name: ATLATL Restaurant in Shanghai

Client: ATLATL

Location: Zhangheng Road, Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, Pudong, Shanghai, China

Status: Completed in July 2020 

Design Firm: Various Associates 

Project Leader: Qianyi Lin, Dongzi Yang 

Design Team: Dongzi Yang, Shiqi Li, Olga Zhuromskaia, Zhichao Lin

All images © Shao Feng

All drawings © Various Associates 

> via Various Associates