The Urban Artifact | SOPA – Society Particular, Zuocheng Architect & Associates | World Design Awards 2023

SOPA – Society Particular, Zuocheng Architect & Associates: Winner of World Design Awards 2023. Hisense Mall is situated on the Fushan Bayfront of Qingdao, and its Sky-bowl extension project is located on its roof.

Despite being blessed with the city’s temperate climate and an array of sightseeing attractions nearby, the mall is detached from the urban context with its impermeable architectural form and a rather interior-focused dimension. Paradoxically, the street view of the bay is obstructed from the marina, whereas the grandeur can be enjoyed from the rooftop but is inaccessible to anyone.

These stark contrasts motivated us to deviate from the expected outcome specified by the client – “a glass hall with a fancy shape to provide catering services for our VIP guests”. Many commercial renovation projects prioritize in marketing the “consumable” features of a specific place; therefore often end up not much more than architectural restyling. With the mission to challenge established practices and consolidated spaces to promote quality and equality in urban conditions, an “amphitheatre on top of a hall” is proposed— a naturally lit hall for consensus and consumption, roofed with a public space where people can climb high, enjoy the privileged scenery and public performances without spending a cent.

In this extension project, we aim to transform commercial space into an ever richer place for encounter and possibility. Here, the form must accurately respond to its site, context, views and functions. An amphitheatre has an inviting aura that draws people in – it is as magnetic as a public space can be, and it has a natural presence that grows over time.

We strive to imbue commercial buildings with cultural awareness and spirituality. The combination of its positioning, context, form and compatible functions make it an ideal setting for innovative layering of programs. This synergy is particularly unique and appropriate.

Project Details
SOPA – Society Particular, Zuocheng Architect & Associates

SOPA – Society Particular, Zuocheng Architect & Associates

Project Name
The Urban Artifact

World Design Awards Category
Commercial Built

Project Location

Yong Cui, Mindaugas Glodenis, Ignas Rackauskas, Xin Guo, Ping Lu, Mikas Kauzonas, Mingzhan Zhao, Ran Lin, XinY Structural Consultants


Photography ©Credit
©Yong Gao

Sharp, blunt, to the point. Society Particular (SOPA) is a young international design firm specialising in architecture, urbanism, floatation and industrial, founded in 2013 by Yong Cui.

SOPA suggests a delicate balance between society and the particular. SOPA is committed to exploring architecture as a medium with which both to think about society and particular.

With a multi-disciplinary approach to complex social issues, SOPA has gained extensive experience in urban regeneration, waterfront developments, tech office, museum, retail, hotel, residential and experimental buildings. SOPA develops concepts and visions that address sustainability, synergism and hybrid.