Vanke Xiaoshan Cube Gallery is a 21,000 square metre community shopping centre located in the Dongcheng district of Hangzhou, China. The complex was conceived as a place for interaction between young families and elderly people living in houses in the district. CLOU provides a commercial design obtained from the fusion of retail, retail street and retail villa concepts that can accommodate various scales and types of commercial activities and public social spaces. Cube Gallery has been selected as the jury winner of the Architizer A+ Awards in the shopping centre category in 2020.
Aimed at specific groups of people, this is Vanke and CLOU’s first attempt to establish a centralised retail centre to cater for the sophisticated corporate format. Considering the type of retail, the shopping street and the integration plan of the shopping centre, CLOU decided to maintain the strategy of expanding the public space from the inside to the outside, increasing the benefit of another type of retail, namely the retail villas, and finally forming a commercial project.
The final layout of the complex consists of three independent cubes. Multi-scale, multiple types of business programmes have been fully integrated into spaces of different sizes. The lower level is suitable for small retail schemes that provide rental/sales efficiencies and meet the needs of community facilities. The higher level is suitable for businesses with special needs and can meet local requirements for large restaurant spaces, entertainment / leisure activities and educational / cultural centres. Unique vertical departments and various retail spaces help to promote overall business vitality.
This combination of two types of retail not only provides flexibility for tenants, but also opens up layered outdoor terraces and courtyard landscapes, which together constitute a large area of public space. The balance between commercial functions and the quality of social public space is achieved in a limited area.
The façade of the Cube Gallery is made of a continuous sheet of glass and a grid structure of white aluminium. It provides shelter for the logistics of various business floors, such as catering and entertainment, and also ensures natural interior lighting. On the other hand, the overall view from outside is complete and diverse, which maximises the public view of the street and provides a buffer between the vertically dense residential areas and the main road.
In order to fully explore the possibilities of public space in retail design and stimulate the vitality of the community’s social centre, Vanke Xiaoshan’s Rubik’s Cube Gallery is an opportunity and full of challenges, and has finally given the city a distinctive feature through its architectural form.
CLOU is an architectural practice founded by German architect Jan Clostermann. The team consists of experts from all over the world who pursue an “outside-the-box” vision, enhancing projects that positively involve the people of the places where they work and offer them new opportunities.