Foshan Topway Design creates a stainless-steel “magic canyon” for ZCMETAL in China

The ZCMETAL Headquarters & Exhibition Hall revel in its celebration of stainless-steel in its silvery interiors that evoke the texture and look of natural canyons.

by Jincy IypePublished on : Mar 19, 2021

Following a concept of “naturalism”, silvery stainless-steel ravines snake inside ZCMETAL Headquarters & Exhibition Hall in China, evoking nature, its beautiful patterns and variegated forms. Conceived by Foshan Topway Design, the 500sqm space reveals itself as a “magic canyon”, inspired by how the light from the sun, moon and stars hit the earth and highlights ravines, cliffs, sand, stones, and flowing water. “With this project, we intended to create a free, refreshing space where visitors would feel as though they are brought to nature and liberated from fatigue and burnout,” share chief designers Wang Zhike and Li Xiaoshui.

01 min watch ZCMETAL Headquarters & Exhibition Hall reveals itself as a “magic canyon” | ZCMETAL Headquarters & Exhibition Hall by Foshan Topway Design | STIRworld
ZCMETAL Headquarters & Exhibition Hall reveals itself as a “magic canyon” Video: Ouyang Yun, Courtesy of Foshan Topway Design

The 500sqm space is spread across two levels, the first one hosting the entrance, reception lobby, material selection area and a product display along with a tea room. The floor above houses offices, an exhibition hall, a bridge and a model room. The entrance passageway is canyon-like too, its stainless-steel walls manually forged and polished. The floors are paved flat with reflective stainless-steel to elevate this canyon, while the ceiling is installed with LED screens to imitate the glow of a starry sky. “The lamps are all LED, which give off comparatively less heat; the air conditioning and exhaust systems in the space are designed such that they will maintain the normal temperature and not heat up the stainless-steel arrangement,” explain Zhike and Xiaoshui.

  • Silvery stainless-steel ravines change hues aided by customised LED lighting | ZCMETAL Headquarters & Exhibition Hall by Foshan Topway Design | STIRworld
    Silvery stainless-steel ravines change hues aided by customised LED lighting Image: Ouyang Yun
  • The entrance passageway | ZCMETAL Headquarters & Exhibition Hall by Foshan Topway Design | STIRworld
    The entrance passageway Image: Ouyang Yun

“The cliffs, ground and sky complement and enhance each other,” shares Foshan Topway Design, who adheres to “humanising spaces” in all their work. Their oeuvre seeks to coordinate functional design with culture, tradition and modern aesthetics, presenting unique experiences to stimulate all five senses.  

The unconstrained, stainless steel curves | ZCMETAL Headquarters & Exhibition Hall by Foshan Topway Design | STIRworld
The unconstrained, stainless steel curves Image: Ouyang Yun

ZCMETAL is a metal production and customisation company based in Foshan, China, and the interiors of their headquarters seek to emulate that materiality. The brand also encompasses product design, including furniture, lighting fixtures, artworks, metal decorative materials, and art installations which emphasise “the combination of modern intelligent carving technology with traditional craftsmanship, with a human touch. For us, metal is not just a type of decorative or functional material, but fine artworks that incorporate artistic aesthetics, natural forms and humanistic spirit and meet personalised and customised needs of various clients,” shares the brand.

  • The view above | ZCMETAL Headquarters & Exhibition Hall by Foshan Topway Design | STIRworld
    The view above Image: Ouyang Yun
  • The patterns evoke the ones found in nature | ZCMETAL Headquarters & Exhibition Hall by Foshan Topway Design | STIRworld
    The patterns evoke the ones found in nature Image: Ouyang Yun

The designers approached ZCMETAL Headquarters & Exhibition Hall’s spatial narrative with an aim to pay tribute to nature in a poetic sense, to create an immersive aesthetic. They also sought to emulate nature’s natural beauty in the hall’s interior design, as all things, including metal, originate from nature. “As designers, we are living in an environment with cold reinforced concrete buildings and a fast-paced lifestyle. We increasingly desire a return to nature,” mention Zhike and Xiaoshui.

  • Behind the scenes | ZCMETAL Headquarters & Exhibition Hall by Foshan Topway Design | STIRworld
    Behind the scenes Image: Courtesy of Foshan Topway Design
  • Concept | ZCMETAL Headquarters & Exhibition Hall by Foshan Topway Design | STIRworld
    Concept Image: Courtesy of Foshan Topway Design

“Metal is extracted from ores and can be used to make iron, bronzeware and other materials and products. We hoped to return metal to its original state and simplicity of nature,” they continue. Walls on both sides of the ‘canyon’ meander with unconstrained curves, while the trenches on these walls are stacked layer upon layer “as if they have been weathered for thousands of years”.

01 min watch As customised lighting hits these turns, spectacular shadows and surreal scenes are created | ZCMETAL Headquarters & Exhibition Hall by Foshan Topway Design | STIRworld
As customised lighting hits these turns, spectacular shadows and surreal scenes are created Video: Ouyang Yun, Courtesy of Foshan Topway Design

As the customised lighting hits these turns, spectacular shadows and surreal scenes are created, while the cosmic ceiling becomes the sky that unites the world as one. Visitors stop to marvel at the workmanship that combines the creative endeavours of humans and the essence of the planet, creating tactile dialogues between humankind and nature.

  • The spiral stair | ZCMETAL Headquarters & Exhibition Hall by Foshan Topway Design | STIRworld
    The spiral stair Image: Ouyang Yun
  • View up the stairs | ZCMETAL Headquarters & Exhibition Hall by Foshan Topway Design | STIRworld
    View up the stairs Image: Ouyang Yun

A spiral staircase emerges from the floor, passes through the cliff walls and stretches toward a stainless-steel waterfall installation that cascades from the ceiling to the ground in a delightful splash. A few drops hang in limbo in front of the side walls, and all of this recreates a romantic scenery replete with mountains, flowing water, a small bridge, and roaring waterfalls.

  • Reception lobby | ZCMETAL Headquarters & Exhibition Hall by Foshan Topway Design | STIRworld
    Reception lobby Image: Ouyang Yun
  • One of the offices | ZCMETAL Headquarters & Exhibition Hall by Foshan Topway Design | STIRworld
    One of the offices Image: Ouyang Yun
  • Product display | ZCMETAL Headquarters & Exhibition Hall by Foshan Topway Design | STIRworld
    Product display Image: Ouyang Yun

Handmade leaves with veins hang over the lobby bar, providing visitors a sense of comfort and added organic aesthetic, presenting a relaxed atmosphere. Products become the protagonist at the display area’s large expanse, providing an artistic complementary to the space. The headquarters also highlight the process of metal forging, the free-flowing state of iron ores when melted at high temperatures and the distinctive natural textures of this material. “The recreated scenes feature the harmony of motion and stillness, hardness and softness, and perfectly reveal the charm of naturalism,” informs the design team.

Project Details

Name: ZCMETAL Headquarters & Exhibition Hall
Location: Foshan, China
Area: 500 sqm
Year of completion: 2020
Design: Foshan Topway Design
Chief designers: Wang Zhike, Li Xiaoshui
Participating Designer: Lu Zhongwen<
Decoration design: Yang Shiwei

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