The sprawling metropolis of Chongqing sits in the Sichuan Basin, surrounded by mountain ranges. Thanks to this topography, the city of 30 million people is wrapped in fog for more than 100 days a year and has earned the nickname Fog City. Hong Kong-based One Plus Partnership took its cue from the city's geography and gray-hued skies for the interior design of the Chongqing Mountain and City Sales Office – the hub for a large, mixed-use development that will include 35,000 square meters of hotels, retail space, and residences. (The international architecture firm Spark—which has offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, and London—designed the exteriors of the complex.)
The dramatic 1,600-square-meter sales office brings the mountains inside, literally. Angled, geometric, stone walls, and striated marble floors create a cave-like environment. Slender LED lights hang from the ceiling, looking like stalactites. Stainless-steel and copper reception desks and furniture catch the light and punctuate the lobby. A craggy staircase leads to a second level and is illuminated by a recessed lightning bolt of LEDs. The monochromatic gray palette helps to evoke the region’s landscape—a draw for potential buyers—and has a relaxing effect on visitors, say the designers.
The office contains an exhibition area, a children’s playroom, staff offices, and a VIP room for sales and business meetings. Once the development is complete, the office will become a clubhouse for residents. One Plus Partnership is also designing some of the residential interiors. “With this unique sales office, the development is well-promoted and is attracting public attention,” says Esther Chan, a marketing representative for the firm. The project, one of the developer’s largest and most important, is located in the outskirts of Chongqing; a special and dramatic sales office was needed to help visitors visualize a project that is not yet complete.
One Plus has collaborated with the developer, Shanghai Forte Land, on previous projects. The firm’s design of a show flat for the The Cullinan, a residential tower east of Jinkai Avenue in a new, northern area of the city, was awarded several international honors last year. The flat, which, like the Mountain City sales office, mimics the landscape of Chongqing, impressed the developer and garnered more work for One Plus. “The developer selected us in order to strengthen their brand name internationally, since they appreciate our innovative designs,” says Chan. “They are confident in us, so they gave us a lot of freedom on the design.”