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Disaster Movie Explosion and Tangled Copper Tubes for these China Cinemas

Ticket office and concession stand of the Exploded Cinema. Scroll down to see more of this disaster-themed cinema. Photography by Jonathan Leijonhufvud via Contract Design.com
Ticket office and concession stand of the Exploded Cinema. Scroll down to see more of this disaster-themed cinema. Photography by Jonathan Leijonhufvud via Contract Design.com

 

CINEMAS IN CHINA HAVE NEVER EXUDED AMBIENCE or looked more like the movies they show than these ones conceptualised by One Plus Partnership ─  a multi award winning interior design firm based in Hong Kong. Founded by Law Ling Kit and Virginia Lung, the pair and their team have thought out some of the most out-of-this-world designs for China’s zaniest cinema, restaurant and retail spaces.

For more of their work, goto: Shooting Stars! It’s Showering Meteors in Meteor Cinema!

Tangled Copper Pipes Run through this Cinema

Adapted from OnePlusPartnership newletter
Tangled Copper Tubes for Shanghai Omnijoi International Cinema. Photography by Jonathan Leijonhufvud via onepluspartnership newsletter.
Tangled Copper Tubes for Shanghai Omnijoi International Cinema. Photography by Jonathan Leijonhufvud via onepluspartnership newsletter.

 

When designing for a cinema, what better ideas to draw inspiration from than from the world of film-making itself? That is exactly what One Plus Partnership did. They got the idea from the copper tubing used for filming tracking shots for movies. In formulating the theme for the Shanghai Omnijoi International Cinema, China ─ one of their most recent in April or May 2017, the featured theme of copper tubing for the cinema runs throughout movie theatre, from the lobby right through to the auditoriums.

 

The tubes running through the lobby sometimes descend and become seats for patrons or ticketing counters for staff. Photography by Jonathan Leijonhufvud via onepluspartnership newsletter.
The tubes running through the lobby sometimes descend and become seats for patrons or ticketing counters for staff. Photography by Jonathan Leijonhufvud via onepluspartnership newsletter.

 

In the lobby, metal tubes wound and overlap each other in the ceiling. Some of the tubes reach down and cleverly become seats! Some enlarge and act as ticketing counters. (Very clever!)

 

The metal tubing is omnifunctional. They can be lights, seats, counters as well as their original intension as thematic ceiling features. Photography by Jonathan Leijonhufvud via onepluspartnership newsletter.
The metal tubing is omnifunctional. They can be lights, seats, counters as well as their original intension as thematic ceiling features. Photography by Jonathan Leijonhufvud via onepluspartnership newsletter.

 

These straight tubes bend sharply at random places into different angles, abstractly imitating the form of rails. Elongated lights are installed along these tubes, adding varieties to the ceiling feature and illuminate the space.

 

The tubing feature in the auditorium that act as spotlights ─ just like in the movies! Photography by Jonathan Leijonhufvud via onepluspartnership newsletter.
The tubing feature in the auditorium that act as spotlights ─ just like in the movies! Photography by Jonathan Leijonhufvud via onepluspartnership newsletter.

 

In the auditorium, the walls are decorated by segments of the metal tubes. The bent segments are modified with lighting at both ends, the designers arranged them to point towards different directions to enhance the lighting effect. The tailor-made carpet has patterns similar to the form of the metal tube decorations, hinting at the theme of rails of the design.

 

 

Disaster Replicated in Exploded Cinema, Wuhan, China

Text adapted from Contract Design
The auditorium is a disaster zone! Inside the largest theatre, the walls and ceilings are covered with boxes of gray acoustic panelling evoking a sense of fabulous mayhem. Photography by Jonathan Leijonhufvud via contractdesign.com.
The auditorium is a disaster zone! Inside the largest theatre, the walls and ceilings are covered with boxes of gray acoustic panelling evoking a sense of fabulous mayhem. Photography by Jonathan Leijonhufvud via contractdesign.com.

 

Dubbed “Exploded Cinema” for obvious reasons, this 11-screen movie theatre situated in Wuhan, central China, pays homage to the eye-popping special effects of disaster thrillers like Twister and The Day After Tomorrow.

“We wanted to create a sci-fi universe, where visitors could come and be inside the movie world rather than just watching it,” said Virginia Lung Wai Ki, director of One Plus Partnership, the designers of the cinema.

 

“We wanted to create a sci-fi universe, where visitors could come and be inside the movie world rather than just watching it.” ─ Virginia Lung Wai Ki

 

Form fits function. Some angular elements in the entry passage make lovely disaster-inspired seats. Photography by Jonathan Leijonhufvud via contractdesign.com.
Form fits function. Some angular elements in the entry passage make lovely disaster-inspired seats. Photography by Jonathan Leijonhufvud via contractdesign.com.

 

Exploded Cinema was a 2015 project and one of the 15 movie theatres that One Plus Partnership has designed.  Lung Wai Ki and husband Ajax Law Ling Kit was quoted in contractdesign.com that they co-founded their commercial interior firm, “to do cool things”. Their clients in China, they say, want designs that are “dramatic, modern, and futuristic”.

 

Doesn’t it look like the ceiling is falling down on you? Some of these suspensions in the lobby are actually LCD screens that play movie trailers. Again ─ from fulfils function. Photography by Jonathan Leijonhufvud via contractdesign.com.
Doesn’t it look like the ceiling is falling down on you? Some of these suspensions in the lobby are actually LCD screens that play movie trailers. Again ─ from fulfils function. Photography by Jonathan Leijonhufvud via contractdesign.com.

 

Quoted in the same article, Ruan Yong Chao, the vice general manager at Hubei Insun Cinema Film Company (the designer’s client) was reported to have said: “There are a number of new cinemas in this area, but thanks to its innovative design, Exploded Cinema is the most popular and highest grossing among them.”

Metal Beams that Protrude at Haphazard Angles

Welcome to Exploded Cinema. This way please. This is the entry corridor where metal beams made of a white solid-surface material protrude from the ceiling and floor at haphazard angles ─ just like a disaster movie. Photography by Jonathan Leijonhufvud via contractdesign.com.
Welcome to Exploded Cinema. This way please. This is the entry corridor where metal beams made of a white solid-surface material protrude from the ceiling and floor at haphazard angles ─ just like a disaster movie. Photography by Jonathan Leijonhufvud via contractdesign.com.

 

For the 66,740-square-foot theatre, the design team created an entry corridor that leads to a spacious lobby. The dark, dramatically lit passage sets the tone with an installation of white metal beams that project at haphazard angles from the ceiling and occasionally crisscross. Some rectilinear forms—made of a solid-surface material—appear to have fallen and become embedded in the floor, forming sculptural seating. The monochromatic palette, which extends to the floor of black marble with white veining, focuses attention on the angular shapes. “When you walk in, you don’t really know what is going on. There’s a dynamic sense of things flying around,” Lung Wai Ki was said to have said.

“When you walk in, you don’t really know what is going on. There’s a dynamic sense of things flying around.” — Lung Wai Ki

 

Where guests arrive in the lobby, the ceiling rises to 30ft. Here, much larger beams, powder-coated in black and brightly lit from within, appear as portals to another world. Opening at the ground level, some of these structures house the ticket office and concession stand. An immense suspended sculptural element, clad with LCD screens on all sides, has the impact of a contemporary art installation.

 

The walls couldn’t fall more creatively. Photography by Jonathan Leijonhufvud via Contract Design.com
The walls couldn’t fall more creatively. Photography by Jonathan Leijonhufvud via Contract Design.com

 

The theater has 10 similar-size screening rooms and one large screening room with 344 seats. The walls and ceiling of the jumbo theatre are covered with approximately 6,000 boxes of gray acoustic paneling, tilted and mounted at six different angles for a random appearance. The spectacular visual effect also gives the room superior acoustics, since all of the angled surfaces absorb sound more effectively than a flat surface. Interspersed with the panelling are acrylic box-shaped light fixtures.

 

Hey, it’s even in the washrooms! The geometric theme features custom pedestal sinks and wastebins that emerge from the floor at angles. Wonder if the water comes out straight. Wouldn’t it be fun to find out? Photography by Jonathan Leijonhufvud via contractdesign.com.
Hey, it’s even in the washrooms! The geometric theme features custom pedestal sinks and wastebins that emerge from the floor at angles. Wonder if the water comes out straight. Wouldn’t it be fun to find out? Photography by Jonathan Leijonhufvud via contractdesign.com.

 

A VIP lounge features an angular bar in black marble and graphic walls of black-and-white acoustic panelling. Even a visit to the bathroom is a trip into a potential future: Custom pedestal sinks and wastebins emerge from the floor at unexpected angles. In the bathroom for the VIP lounge, the faucet is a square tube, dangling from the ceiling, which automatically releases a stream of water when a sensor is triggered.

 

Oooo, an obstacle course! These angular elements in the entry passage form sculptural seating. The disaster/exploded theme is continued throughout the cinema ─ there’s no let-up. Photography by Jonathan Leijonhufvud via contractdesign.com.
Oooo, an obstacle course! These angular elements in the entry passage form sculptural seating. The disaster/exploded theme is continued throughout the cinema ─ there’s no let-up. Photography by Jonathan Leijonhufvud via contractdesign.com.

 

Said Lung Wai Kee: “We want to change people’s minds of what a cinema should be, so they’ll expect more from their viewing experience. Movie theaters should be fun and different.”

“We want to change people’s minds of what a cinema should be, so they’ll expect more from their viewing experience. Movie theaters should be fun and different.” — Lung Wai Kee

 

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