Midwest Inland Port Financial Town
- Xi’an International Trade & Logistics Park, Xi’an, China
- Hallucinate Design Office
Maike Metals Group (Maike) is one of China’s biggest non-ferrous metal suppliers and traders with the largest trading volume of copper cathode. As an industrial leader, Maike has invested 3billion RMB to build the Midwest Inland Port Financial Town, so far the largest metal trading platform in Asia. Located in the Xi’an International Trade and Logistics Park, the Financial Town is a modern trading and logistics platform that offers integrated transportation, warehousing, freight forwarding and information services.
Authorized through an international bid as the designer of Maike’s first bulk commodity trading center in West China, HALLUCINATE believes that a modern city with a rich historical legacy like Xi’an is inclusive enough to embrace new visions, and has therefore developed the interior design beyond the city’s geographical features for a balanced presentation of historical elements in an open perspective.
The interiors are unconventionally designed in an open and tranquil style to underline the importance of the project as the first platform in Midwest China to fill the gap of continuous transactions of the actuals and highlight its endorsement of modern trading. A moderate approach was adopted throughout the overall logic of design as well as the selection of materials and functional elements in order to create a lasting visual appeal and enhance the completeness of this comprehensive project.
The completed design features a perfect combination of the luminous roof and the large-gridded digital walls that blurs the boundaries between reality and imagination, modern technology and the architecture itself, creating a surreal ambience for visitors to visualize future possibilities and technological advancements. The design also demonstrates Maike’s corporate value of pursuing a better future and the project’s essence as a strikingly admirable endeavor.
A steady and gentle interior lighting is achieved by adopting an outdoor illumination plan, casting the light through the three black metal pillars of different heights to the ceiling of the lobby and forming a diffuse reflection through the geodesic dome. The interior walls are covered with grids formed by tailor-made extruded aluminum sections of special dimensions melded with LED P60 electronic display units and sealed with a translucent resin coating to soften the brightness of the information display on the grids. The grids with information display have formed a new structure and interior façade. The linear sections are complex enough to hide the display units from our sight and greatly reduce the excessive sound reflection in the lobby, impressing visitors with a vision of the future technology.
In usual cases, the core structure of a building sets clear boundaries of the interior façade, the ceiling and the floor. In designing this project, however, HALLUCINATE has intentionally abandoned this conventional approach in pursuing softer boundaries between the three dimensions to enable a smooth, undisrupted visual sight from the floor all up to the ceiling. The structures of different directions are put together through the linear lights produced behind the walls, offering a lively visual effect that is completely different from the rigid perception of a core structure. The DuPont Corian solid surface materials are used for the core structure, seamlessly integrating the whole structure like a single-piece product to offer an exquisite and magnificent impression.
In the lecture hall, the ceiling comes in the shape of folded paper to reduce sound reflections and avoid excessive light onto the presentation screen. The seats arranged in a tilted and asymmetrical way echo the irregular shapes of the ceiling and enable a convenient entry and exit for the users.
Instead of designing a conventional office building, we would like to present a modern and minimalist atmosphere through making use of unusual material, lighting and furniture in a space of 27m height 40m width.
We are trying to weaken the traces of decorative elements brought by the material we applied. Through modifying the structure of the space, we have changed the impression of stiffness and inflexibility of office spaces. The concept of "floor" is strengthened by turning each floor into independent unit of a boathouse. We have convinced the landlord to add two heavy black cross staircases in the middle of the cabin in order to enrich the circulation between the two independent boathouses. After measuring the angle of sunlight at noon in Xian, we have modified the structure of the glass ceiling. Moreover, by increasing the thickness and density of the rhombus structure without distorting the shape of the cabin, direct sunshine is weakened. The black dull steel of the staircase and the natural timber flooring weaken the solemn atmosphere of the cabin.