The Alexander Wong-designed Cinema Futura in Zhongshan proves to be as visually stimulating as the many sci-fi films it was inspired by, as Christie Lee finds out.
10 April, 2014
Top Image: The Plaza Pandora takes inspiration from the sci-fi classic Alien
Cinephiles know all too well the myriad of sensations that the movie theatre brings: awe, fear, frustration, outrage, relief and the list goes on. Yet such experiences are often only limited to the silver screen. Not anymore, at least according to Hong Kong-based award-winning architect and interior designer Alexander Wong. Wong is revered for creating avant-garde movie theatres and his latest project, Cinema Futura in Zhongshan, marks his most ambitious cinematic undertaking to date.
The Butterfly Pavilion welcomes patrons with its sweeping organic forms
Located on the top floor of the spanking new Palm Rainbow Garden Commercial Centre, the flamboyantly designed theatre is a sprawling 36,800 square feet and can accommodate 918 cinema-goers. With inspirations drawn from such sci-fi classics as Alien, Tron and Avatar, the interior is fittingly decked out in bold hues and outfitted with dynamic lighting.
Cinema-goers enter the theatre via the Butterfly Pavilion and through the Plaza Pandora, where Alien-inspired ceiling, walls and double-layered spiral columns dominate. The latter, dubbed Chromosome Columns, draws direct inspiration from Alien. Meanwhile, pendant lights swirl above, casting leaf-like patterns on the floor.
The Tron Tunnel is a key tool in taking cinema-goers from reality to the fictional realm of movies
You soon arrive at the Pandora Box Office and Bar Pandora, where tickets and perfectly buttered popcorn can be purchased. Stroll through the Tron Tunnel and be mesmerised by the glowing laser lighting on the walls, ceilings and floor. While the vast use of geometric shapes reminds one of the computer-generated locales in Avatar, Wong explains they also pay tribute to the myriad of forms that nature takes on. “‘Nature’ is filled with the most complex geometrical shapes imaginable. Sci-fi and Futurism only reflect a tiny fraction of that complexity. Our inspiration here is Nature itself. Nature is the source of all art forms,” the designer claims.
From there, you’re directed to one of four individual cinema rooms: Blue Whale, Red Earth, Amazon and Purple Rain.
The Amazon cinema is but one of four colour-themed cinema rooms
But the visually rapturous experience doesn’t end there. A sunlit Solar Gallery connects with the Chronosome X-over, a bridge that leads to the gigantic 374-seat 3D Giant Screen Cinema. The Alien Lounge VIP room and Black Mercury media platform also makes the theatre the go-to spot for movie galas and premieres.
God is in the details and at Cinema Futura it is in the “Dynamic Restrooms”, awash in black, white, silver and dark screen and complete with bubble mirrors. Here, Wong turns the simple act of going to the loo into a most surreal experience.
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