Reviving Retail: The K11 Art Mall Transformation

Carrie Ho's Innovative Design Breathes New Life into Traditional Shopping Malls

Carrie Ho's award-winning design of the K11 Art Mall in Wuhan, China, showcases how bricks-and-mortar retail can thrive with the right amenity-driven design, an inherent sense of fun, and an eye on the future.

Carrie Ho's tongue-in-cheek approach transformed a 20-year-old department store into an 'art mall' worthy of the K11 brand's portfolio. The mall itself is the star attraction rather than the stores, with every inch of space being used to create an 'Easter egg' type of surprise in every corner. The sci-fi-inspired blue technology chamber lets visitors get lost in a world full of their favourite tech products, with pop-up stores and seasonal themes throughout.

The K11 Art Mall is a testament to the power of innovative design in reviving traditional retail spaces. Its unique features include a focus on verticality, encouraging visitors to explore upwards. This was achieved by strategically placing vertical landmarks as well as floor-specific landmarks throughout the mall, and also connecting to the adjacent mall via an external bridge. The result is a shopping experience that is both engaging and exciting.

The renovation of the existing concrete structure used a steel structure to create additional layers in the building. Fiberglass reinforced gypsum and laminated glass were used to create the colourful spaces. The total area is 34,000sq.m. with 4 levels of podium levels. This project is a prime example of how innovative design can transform a space, even within the constraints of an existing structure.

The K11 Art Mall's design process was a meticulous one. The project was closed down for renovation, with the team first required to observe the new building regulation and upgrade the space up to the latest standard. Several mockups were tested to ensure the materials and spaces were functional and provided an enjoyable experience for visitors.

The K11 Art Mall's transformation was not without its challenges. Converting an old department store with constraints from the existing built structure was a significant hurdle. However, the end result is a testament to the power of innovative design and a vision for the future of retail.

Carrie Ho's design for the K11 Art Mall was awarded Golden in A' Interior Space, Retail and Exhibition Design Award in 2023. This prestigious award is granted to marvelous, outstanding, and trendsetting creations that reflect the designer's prodigy and wisdom. They are venerated products and bright ideas that advance art, science, design, and technology, embodying extraordinary excellence and significantly impacting the world with their desirable characteristics.

Project Details and Credits

Project Designers: Carrie Ho
Image Credits: IMAGERY: Dirk Weiblen PROPERTY OWNER: K11 developments ltd/ New World Development (china) Limited PUBLICATION: Indesign Media Asia Pacific
Project Team Members: Carrie Ho
Project Name: K11 Art Mall
Project Client: Carrie Ho

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