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Located in the Chinese port of Lianyungang, the shopping centre grows on four rather unconventional levels. The real novelty here lies in the transformation of the closed environment of a commercial centre into an engaging open space, with terraces turned into green courtyards and internal corridors opening to the city.

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Consequentially, the experience of space and the internal mobility become essential factors in the building’s innovation. Traditional centres consist of an enclosed volume in which the covered interior atrium becomes the only public space with stores allocated around it. This configuration only allows a loop and a vertical circulation, in the shape of a ring and towards other floors, both completely forgetful of the context around the building.

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Market Eight, instead, leaps beyond the problem from the start, adopting a structure of five interconnected blocks, that develops both in vertical and in diagonal, with open courtyards and an eight-shape circulation between the blocks. The result is a shopping centre exposed towards the city, with a larger façade surface, invaded by the surrounding public space.

In its central part, the building grows up to four levels, while the rest of the blocks remains lower. These are the parts that accommodate the suggestive, green roof-terraces, often incorporated by restaurants and cafeterias. The vertical connection between levels is efficiently solved with escalators located in the courtyards; while the diagonal connection, between blocks, is left to the beautiful open corridors and courtyards.

The market façade shines with coloured glass louvers, which face alternate orientations in each floor. As the climate conditions are often favourable, public areas are left open; hence the façade become permeable and ventilated skin, shielding the stores from the sunlight.

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