Pulse On designs "zen-like" lobby for Shanghai cinema

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SFC Shangying Cinema Luxe was designed by Pulse On


SFC Shangying Cinema Luxe was designed by Pulse On

The strings of musical instruments informed the vertical lighting elements and bookshelves of this cinema lobby and bookshop created by Hong Kong-based Pulse On for a site in Shanghai’s Bingo Plaza shopping mall.

Pulse On, which is part of the One Plus Partnership headed by Virginia Lung and Ajax Law, designed all of the communal areas and auditoriums for the SFC Shangying Cinema Luxe.

Interior view of the book shop at SFC Shangying Cinema Luxe
The cinema lobby and bookshop was designed by Pulse On

The design for the cinema, which is shortlisted in the leisure and wellness interior category of Dezeen Awards 2021, features a recurring motif based on the strings found on many musical instruments.

The celebration of music aims to highlight the crucial role of a good score in filmmaking, as well as referencing the use of a Chinese character meaning ‘piano’ in the name of the shopping centre.

SFC Shangying Cinema Luxe has a golden interior
Pulse On wanted to create the idea of musical strings throughout the interior

“These two elements work together and motivated us to come up with ‘strings’ as the design theme for this project,” said Pulse On, “hoping that this cinema design will create yet another timeless classic as if an epic film with a rousing music score.”

The cinema’s lobby includes several elements intended to represent an instrument’s strings, including thin metal slats that extend vertically from the ceiling to the floor.

Seating areas and tables were placed throughout SFC Shangying Cinema Luxe
Pulse On incorporated communal seating areas throughout the lobby

The space also accommodates a bookshop in reference to the habits of ancient scholars, who would spend their leisure time playing music and reading in spaces designed for relaxation.

In the bookshop area, the lower portion of the metal frames incorporate three layers of shelving. Freestanding screens situated between the lobby and the hallway leading to the screening rooms echo the design of the shelves.

The golden metallic surfaces used to clad the majority of the walls lends the space a uniform aesthetic that contributes to its restful and contemplative feel.

“We wanted to create a zen resting space for the guests through the mix of ‘strings’ and ‘books’,” the designers added. “All of this boils down to simplicity and purity of lines, no highly-contrasting colours are used.”

Interior view of the lobby and ticket and concessions booth at SFC Shangying Cinema Luxe
Seating and reading spaces are adjoined to the ticket and concessions booth

Integrated lighting is used to highlight the regular rhythm of the panelling, creating contrasts of light and shadow that add visual interest to the space.

Two different types of stone combine to form the flooring, which features a pattern of perpendicular intersecting elements that complements the custom-made lighting fixtures.

The SFC Shangying Cinema Luxe has its own bookshop
The SFC Shangying Cinema Luxe has an open plan design

A ticket and concessions stand is positioned on one side of the lobby, with the bookshop on the other. Lounge seating, tables and reading nooks provide customers with a choice of places to relax.

The various screening rooms also employ the ‘strings’ motif, which is applied in various ways to the suspended light fixtures, wall sconces and patterned flooring.

Interior view of the iMAX auditorium at SFC Shangying Cinema Luxe
A large IMAX auditorium has lighting mounted at different heights

In the cinema’s large IMAX auditorium, lighting elements extend from the ceiling at various heights, while a guardrail at the front of the room adds a further string-like visual element.

One Plus Partnership was founded in 2004 by Virginia Lung with Ajax Law as its design director. The firm predominantly operates in the commercial sector, creating designs for cinemas, restaurants, stores, sales offices and clubhouses.

The SFC Shangying Cinema Luxe is shortlisted in the leisure and wellness category of Dezeen Awards 2021 alongside projects including a hair and beauty salon in Oakland, California, featuring curved fitted furniture, and a skin clinic filled with tactile surfaces in Dublin, Ireland.

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