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ATMOSPHERES

Winning competition entry for the interior renovation of the Stucki Shopping Center in Basel, Switzerland.

The client was concerned that the existing design aesthetic of the mall was too cold and in-conducive to a pleasurable shopping experience. Working within the existing circulation zones, we proposed warming the mall with action centers that shoppers would be drawn to and enjoy being in. Most of these have little to do with shopping itself, but rather, are escapes from it. Some of these spaces promote social interaction, while others provide privacy.

Thematically, we sought to bring nature into the mall, albeit of an artificial and fantastical variety. Children can play on massive fungi, where they are at the same scale as ants, or tower over a spongy miniature mountain range like giants. Scattered clouds span the height of a three storey atrium, while a stormy version is contained within another. A blown up field of grass grows to the height of an adult's sitting eye level, while a fountain equipped with floor pressure sensors allows shoppers to be engulfed by a rain storm without getting wet. These miniature environments provide an escape from the mall and shopping itself, while paradoxically also attracting more visitors.

( Hou de Sousa collaborated with Apologue and !ndieArch on this competition proposal )