The Mountain City showroom project is for Studio DOTCOF’s regular client, Yanfeng Automotive Trim Systems Company, in the mountain city of Chongqing, China. This is the fifth showroom that Studio DOTCOF have designed for them. From the beginning, the client expressed the desire to have local characteristics incorporated into the new showroom.
The firm began by associating some images of the mountain town’s streets and buildings, three-dimensional and magical, high and low, rich and surprising experiences. They associated these images with other images of dense, humid, sultry street stalls, warm and noisy, in the shade of tall Ficus macrocarpa trees. Chongqing is located in the eastern part of the Sichuan basin, where clouds are thick and the amount of daylight hours is the lowest in China; the Yangtze and Jialing rivers bring a lot of water vapor; the dock culture and immigrant culture that began with the reclamation of Sichuan by Huguang injects some unique coarseness and righteousness into the region. With this impression of Chongqing’s “regional characteristics”, Studio DOCOF began their design.
The designers left more open space in the front lobby to receive visitors and to meet the width requirements for cars entering the showroom. Visitors can get an overall preview of the space. The floors of the east and north spaces are raised, and visitors can take the stairs to encounter a glass meeting room. From there, the flow of the exhibition continues around to the north side of the showroom, where the darker areas are used to display some of the client’s products with lighting effects. There, visitors encounter two walls with openings. The higher wall blocks views to maintain focus on the exhibits, while the lower wall and its openings allow people to overlook the foyer to the south. After finishing the tour at that point, visitors must descend back to the lobby level, where the visitor experience is rectified and views open to both to the raised passage on the west side and back to the lobby. Visitors can then take the passage from the west side steps to access the rest exhibition area and conference hall. The route is divided into two strands there, either down two steps to reach the semi-circular conference hall, or by following the outer edge of the circle to enter around the north side of the conference hall. The conference hall is mainly used for show car launches and lectures. The designers used the semi-circle to extend the width of the space and arranged the illuminated ceiling film on the top to create an “open” intention in the limited indoor space.
These winding, high and low routes are modestly established to link the various display areas and booths. During the walking tour, visitors will go through actions from watching, to climbing, walking, turning, descending, stopping, and looking back. Such a spatial experience, a microcosm of mountain city traveling, allows people to inadvertently complete the interesting experience of “viewing – touring – living” behavior.
The designers left the entire roof bare, with only a few areas with steel frames for fixing lamps, sliding doors, metal curtains, etc., as well as metal frames, a metaphor for the Ficus macrocarpa tree, to provide people with a comfortable, stable seating experience.
The designers also focused on specific materials such as terrazzo, hand-made tiles, solid wood panels, metal, etc. in order to convey a sense of Chongqing: simple, direct, and punchy.
Project: The Mountain City Showroom
Design Company: Studio DOTCOF
Design Team: Chen Xi, Li Rong, Zhuang Haolai
Project Designer: Li Rong
MEP Design: Li Mu, Deng Peng
Construction Company: Chongqing Meidejia Decoration Construction Co., LTD
Area: 520 sqm
Address: No.16 North Lihuan Road, Yubei District, Chongqing, China