News - 25 November 2008

Realisation Star Place

A vibrant new landmark has appeared in the fast and modern city of Kaohsiung: the luxury shopping center Star Place. Both outside and inside, the building radiates dynamism and the kind of bright perfection that the architect refers to as the ‘Made in Heaven Effect’. Everything about the building moves the eye.

Positioned at an urban plaza with a roundabout, the building occupies a triangular lot, giving it a wide and open frontage. Curving inwardly, the building embraces this position and opens itself fully to the city. For UNStudio the question of the building began with the façade as an urban manifestation. However the chosen solution of a ‘deep’ front elevation, with a prominent pattern made by the application of protruding elements, was immediately reconnected to the internal arrangement of the spaces around the atrium, the circulation through the atrium and the views from the inside to the outside. As a result, the project now consists of a tight package of inside-outside relations.

The open and transparent glass façade is patterned with projecting horizontal, aluminum-faced lamellas and vertical glass fins that together form a swirling pattern. This pattern breaks up the scale of the building, which, from the outside has no legible floor heights as a result of the one-meter spacing between the horizontal lamellas. Ostensibly, the pattern of lamellas and fins acts as a sunscreen and weather barrier, but in reality the combination of the wish to make a ‘deep’ façade while preserving the internal floor space was behind the choice to apply a pattern to the outside frontage.