Client: Elan Group
Area: 28,000 sq m
Height: 28.00 m (6 storeys)
Status: Schematic Design
The project was conceived as a new model in retail design where the experience of visiting the building becomes a journey of discovery and wonder. The building and its architecture is designed to create an ‘otherwordly’ experience, where one has to explore the space to understand it.
Elan Epic is imagined as a jewellery box where upon entering the box, one is encountered by a secret magical world where volumes seem to float around in space on top of a giant water body. Inspired by the fictional digital imagery of planet ‘Pandora’ from the movie Avatar, where giant natural overgrown mountain ranges are suspended in space with spectacular fauna and giant waterfalls. This world is then intertwined with contemporary hi-tech features and materials such as digital screens, highly reflective surfaces and interactive LED lighting.
Basic materials and elements such as wood, concrete, water, fire, greenery and stone are juxtaposed with modern materials such as glass, high polished stainless steel, fritted glass and plenty of digital screens to create a unique futuristic experience merged with shopping and leisure.
The project is composed of 3 main long rectangular volumes that are organised around large central courtyard. This courtyard is made up principally of an oversized reflection pool with a large floating platform. Each volume is double loaded, thus offering shops on each side. Half of the shops will open up to the central space and the other half open up to the external pedestrian promenades.
The project is arranged over 6 levels on 3 sides and 7 levels on the North side only. 4 levels are purely retail and the top levels will offer an exciting mix of Multiplex, food court, specialty restaurants, entertainment zones, specialty stores and a large roof garden accessible directly from the food court.
The entrance to the development offers glimpses of the internal courtyard without giving it away. A series of gentle landscape steps gives visitors a choice to either walk up or down. The entrance level is set exactly between ground level and lower ground level thus blurring the perception of what level is grounds. The steps are designed as landscaped elements connecting different levels of vegetation, seating and hardscape.
The central space is shaded by a custom designed open air spaceframe which accommodates for an array of linear planters which will allow for green vegetation to extend over the roof. This element will act as a ‘green canopy’ and will give a similar intimate feeling to walking in the shade of heavy foliage of a mature forest. Similarly to a forest, this canopy will be open to the elements – the gentle breezes and heavy monsoon alike.
The magic of the central space is created by 11 boxes that differ both in size and treatment. These boxes are connected directly with perimeter walkways at different heights and locations, and all protrude in the central space. These boxes will accommodate a range of shops, boutiques and potentially specialty cafes, patisseries or tea shops. The roofs of these boxes will be used as break-out spaces, gardens, exhibition spaces and event spaces. The boxes are held up by single columns much like the simple tree houses we all used to build as kids. The columns will be clad in a highly polished stainless steel making them highly reflective and thereby camouflaging them and almost making them disappear. This achieves the illusion of making the boxes appear as though they are floating.