Artificial landscape in the middle of the city
Imagine a tumult of a shopping mall in the center of a city and inside a place where you can relax like - an oasis created by architects. That is the food court arranged by Zalewski Architecture Group as an artificial landscape.
The heart of the Forum shopping center in Gliwice is the atrium - a vast space that combines the functions of communication (main entrance is located here and to this place lead shopping alley), representational and those favoring a longer stay (food court with a relaxation zone). Atrium is full of natural light - one wall is a large window overlooking the city, while the oval skylight illuminates equally all floors of the shopping center.
Architects from Zalewski Architecture Group designed the food court zone which occupies part of one floor and two mezzanines. Mentioned extent of the atrium could be a drawback - customers usually feel not comfortable in large halls and even in public places they look for intimate spaces. Cool aesthetics of the shopping center - well-functioning in shopping alleys as being in opposition to the flashy shopping windows - in such a big atrium could overwhelm. Therefore the project assumed humanization of space by introducing small interferences, user-friendly design and adaptation of multi-level food court to human scale.
What is mostly associated with relax? Leisure in nature. Thus the entire interior design of this part of the atrium was an attempt to create artificial landscape, which would give some respite from a great amount of matters, purchases and everyday race. And so the space is divided and arranged with openwork partitions - waving wooden "hurdles" (resembling sand dunes), glass panels with greenery imprints or a reminiscence of a hedge based on the graphic theme of green twigs from the glass facade. All those elements cerate intimate bays in which soft sofas have been set - in form of rounded shapes that evoke association with boulders and stones, or different types of Vitra chairs from. Thereto wooden tables like tree stumps of trees were added.
Architects also made use of the height of the atrium - its space was filled with suspended lams in form of clouds or light wooden breakers. The whole was complied with a real greenery. Artificial nature mixed with plants and placed under a glass roof – together they form a substitute of oasis that encourage for a longer stay and spending time in the shopping center.
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