MVRDV has almost completed work on its Beijing-based Chongwenmen M-cube shopping mall. The building sports a pearlescent facade that, while it doesn't quite match the design of Rotterdam's brilliant Markthal, still promises to be an eye-catching addition to the city.
Located in one of Beijing's busiest areas, adjacent to the Temple of Heaven, Chongwenmen M-cube will comprise a total floorspace of 44,000 sq m (473,612 sq ft). This will be split between mostly retail spaces on the lower levels and restaurants, bars, and an elevated lobby upstairs. The upper areas will be accessible from street level via escalators. In addition, a rooftop garden will boast a view of the Forbidden City.
The exterior of the mall will feature an interesting and eye-catching facade that features hand-glazed pearlescent ceramic tiles. The tiles will shimmer depending on lighting conditions and the viewing angle (and, one hopes, retain their sheen after being subjected to Beijing's terrible smog). The mall's exterior will also sport large spaces for LED advertising.
"The facade design balances between the desire of the client to create a striking building and the restrictive architectural conditions in that part of Beijing, demanding grays and beiges," says MVRDV co-founder Jacob van Rijs. "Depending on the viewpoint both parties can be satisfied as the facade material appears differently when looking at different angles, it varies from subtle grey to all colors of the rainbow."
Chongwenmen M-cube has been under development since 2012 and is due to be completed by summer (northern hemisphere) this year.