Given CLOU’s expertise in retail design, we were asked by Jones Lang LaSalle to investigate how to transform the underperforming department store into a vibrant mixed-use building. The Wangfujing Department Store is to serve as a prototype for other ailing properties.

Rather than integrating the new functions into a new whole, the building expressly celebrates the diversity of functions. Organized as a simple stack, the various functions operate in their optimal configuration, independent of the other activities within the building. Long-distance escalators provide direct connections from the ground to the different programs, smoothing the transition between the program distributions.

The office spaces are divided into two zones, representing the two competing theories of office design. Floors 4-7 are arranged as traditional working environments, optimized rectilinear floor plans and day lighting on two sides. The top three floors offer large floorplates ideal for collaboration and co-working areas.
Small scale atria connected to the outside break up the large floorplates and bring direct sunlight into the center of the building.

The loosely organized retail activity is condensed into the bottom 3 floors and reorganized around a central atrium, which provides excitement as well as clarity to the shopping experience. Department stores, driven by efficiency and rentable area, often fail to provide any respite from the mercurial activities. Consequently, they often are stacks of open plan floors with no vertical continuity or visual connection between the levels. The design addresses this through strategic voids breaking up the original floor plates.

Strategic Removal