by Jincy IypeMar 01, 2021
Chinese studio X+Living, best known for its optical illusion-driven, otherworldly bookstore interiors, has conceptualised yet another dreamlike space for people young and old.
Called the Meland Club, the project is a family park located on the second and third floor of a shopping mall in Shenzhen.
The interiors present a carnival of geometric figures in bold colours, funky illustrations and surprising proportions. As per X+Living, the design imbibes the spirit of a garden and the layout follows the concept of the four seasons.
To pique people’s curiosity even before they get inside the club, the entrance wall has been demolished to give space to a display window and the reception.
Designer Li Xiang, who runs the Shanghai-based studio, has achieved the character of a large-scale structure within the 6000sqm double height interiors of the club by creating a three-layer platform and artificial elements that magnify the spatial scale. Calculated panoramic modeling has helped create an experience where customers cannot only enjoy different viewing angles from a macro scale but can also sense the micro shock brought by the unpredictable details.
An artificial atrium throbbing in the spirit of spring has winding stairs that guide visitors to the various spaces within the club. The theme of the atrium comes alive as forms shaped as flowers, plant stems, butterflies, bees, and ladybirds, fuse together in a deconstructive style and reveal a strange landscape of mystery and wild imagination.
“Stepping down any of the two paths along the atrium, your vision is widened, and the space is stacked layer by layer… The scene changes at all times, but you can't see all of it nor to even predict it,” say the designers at X+Living.
Every element within the club has functional significance: the plant-looking forms camouflage cabinets and shelves, leisure seating is in the shape of flowers, and large installations hanging down from the ceiling hide lighting fixtures.
A circus carnival theme runs in the ball pool area where the idea of play is translated into a three-dimensional experience. Here, a maze-like setting guided by routes through door holes and climbing stairs take children on a free-wheeling ride. The intangible interconnection between spaces permeates a sense of adventure in the club.
In the second atrium, X+Living has skillfully used the floor height to set up entertainment elements such as rotating slide and climbing rope.
An autumn themed restaurant is populated by natural textures and bright colours. Further a restroom in blue green walls features an ornamental hand sink that emulates the form of a fountain.
Unlike other Meland Club family parks, this one has a video gaming hall for the young population. Conceptualised in the theme of a cyberpunk palace, animated characters and bold hues manifest into a fantasy world.
“Imagination is a gift from God. However, the same and stereotyped buildings and increasingly similar cities make it impossible for us to see the dream in the square frame of the glass window,” says designer Li Xiang.
“I want to turn that hazy bubble you dream of but beyond description into a reality that can be touched.”