In a typical vertical neighbourhood CLOU’s Shenyang ‘Play Stack Mall’ is organized as a horizontal pile of accessible boxes.

In newly-built vertical communities such as southwest Shenyang, where adequate facilities and public spaces are often lacking, neighbourhood malls have become popular meeting places. This is particularly evident where homes are small and multi-generational living is common.

Since walkability has become an increasingly desirable lifestyle choice, ‘Play Stack’ has been designed with a focus on accessibility. The design functions as a hub, with a strong community vibe by offering a place to share quality time with friends and family in this recently built city quarter. It’s the attempt to create a model for a ‘third place’ - an enjoyable gathering spot in addition to home and work.

‘Play Stack’ is a kid’s themed mall which was envisioned as an arrangement of piled up boxes containing playful elements. Terraced volumes and connecting staircases are threaded into a continuous exterior path which leads to a large rooftop deck. The walkways weave these spaces into a pedestrian network that can lend its support to the developing public domain of southwest Shenyang. Flexible in its use, the roof platform will be host to a variety of seasonal events. By dedicating space that isn’t necessarily retail, ‘Play Stack’ tries to find an audience beyond shoppers. ‘These spaces provide extra opportunities and when properly designed and cared for, they can assist in bringing communities together,' says Jan F. Clostermann, Director of CLOU.

Seeking to appeal to children and their families, the interior design features abstracted images of planets and space travel to encourage exploration. The design of the atrium space plays with optical illusions by projecting parts of circular shapes on atrium galleries, walls and ceilings, distinguishing them with colour and timber finishes. The scattered shapes form perfect circles from specific viewpoints. Customers are engaged in discovering these viewpoints and capturing their experience on their camera phone. Within the restrooms stripes of black and red infinitely repeat in mirrors evoking cinematic depictions of travelling at light speed. ‘The design looks to turns routine activities into playful experiences for kids and adults alike,’ says Jan F. Clostermann, Director of CLOU.

CLOU architects started the concept design for the 31,000 square-meter building back in May of 2016. Shenyang ‘Play Stack’ opened to the public in October of 2018.

CLOU在沈阳垂直社区打造步行体验空间 ‘叠叠乐’商场。

新建的垂直社区往往面临配套设施匮乏,公共空间缺失等问题。在这样的背景下,社区商业正成为新兴的社交场所。 这一现象在多代混住的小户型社区尤为明显。


‘叠叠乐’是一个由一系列充满趣味性彩色盒子组成的儿童主题商场。错落的体量由一系列连续的室外台阶串联成一条充满惊奇发现的路径,直达屋顶。这样的步行体验为沈阳南部新城编织起了一个立体错落的公共社交空间。功能多变的屋顶平台可以被用来举办一系列不同的季节性活动。这种对公共空间的关注, 意在探索社区商业所能承载的除商业活动以外的社会属性。正如CLOU的设计总监Jan F. Clostermann所说,“一个被合理设计和赋予意义的建筑,可以成为增强社区凝聚力的纽带。


‘设计通过将墨守成规的行为转换为儿童与大人共同体验的趣味性经历,从而寻求拓展公共空间的潜力与可能性,’CLOU总监Jan F. Clostermann讲到。


Play Stack Shenyang