Commercial Plaza of the 21st Century
Invited international design & ideas competition
METAMORPHOSIS: The main dilemma of the 21st century seems to be that people are permanently interconnected through digital networks, but disconnected from the real world. This will inevitably become the main problem of commercial spaces as well.
In order to attract people, commercial plazas / shopping-malls need to become ‘experience-machines’, that can provide consumers both conventional spaces and virtual ones, with shopping becoming rather a “side-effect”.
Instead a Wow-effect is needed. Shopping in the traditional way will not work any longer if consumers degenerate to weak-willed puppets of online trade.
Shopping 21 needs to integrate a “holospace”, which itself integrates virtual reality with all its fascinating new experiences and combine it with the persistent need for places of conventional entertainment and traditional forms of encounter.
This “holospace” is the agora of the computer age, a volume and innovative “machine” that creates and combines all forms of positive experiences.
Creating such spaces – vivid and attracting, amazing, surprising, emotionalizing, illusionist, captivating, intriguing, and seductive – will decide about the success or failure of the commercial plazas of the future.
In RhineScheme’s concept, the “holistic box” is the exlibris of the project, giving visitors the chance to recreate the space and transform themselves. It is: virtual, experimental, imaginative, hallucinating.
A moving walkway links people to the ultimate entertainment experience.
Around a floating box an ascending ramp rises, leading the visitors through the commercial space and letting them slowly get immersed by the multi-faceted atmosphere.
The external descending ramp offers a vast choice of sceneries, environments and entertainment.
Under the box and in a central core the main plaza is located where all sorts of activities converge and interact.
The surface surrounding the spiral is more than just an envelope. It contains several activities such as movie screens, projections, climbing & rappel, and it encloses the big three- dimensional outdoor/indoor volume. This “metamorphic skin” brings all the elements together and is a key design element from inside and outside.