Films are fascinating because of the ground it stands is blurry – or so-to-speak, it stands on water. In between reality and fantasy, the meanings extracted from films are constantly floating, as light as cloud and as dynamic as water. Are films like mirrors reflecting what is true, or are they merely illusions?
But the real question should not be diluted: perhaps it is more important to think about what films do rather than what films are. A film with good intention can create ripples, as if waters have a pulse, linking and providing for its audience. When the audience and the film are in sync, it is like hearts beating at the same rhythm, pounded by a drum without edges. The rhythm should be astounding and natural. When put into this design, materials were carefully selected so that the beautiful and soothing rhythm will not be over-ridded; that audience who come into this space will ‘go with the flow’.
The two-stories cinema aims to provide a holistic experience for its audience. The fourth floor is the entrance and lobby, next to the counters are the escalators that descend to and from the third floor, where all the screening houses locate. If we are to present the pulse of water, what colour should it be? As the aesthetic shapes, lines and edges are the key things to convey, we decided to keep the colours subtle. White is used to represent water, while bronze is used to represent pulses. Starting from the entrance, the white colour gives a bright view in general. The ceiling with concealed lighting looks as if the white is being crystallised; creating ripples from this point, the bronze ripple patterns spread across the walls, the columns, and to the floor. At the lobby area, the ceiling outlets were cleverly designed as half-moon shapes, which were made up with wooden stripes painted in bronze colour. Sharp edges are kept as minimal as they can. The self-service ticket machines are situated inside white rock curvatures on the wall, concealed and embraced by the gentle ripple. Ticket counters and cupboard also formed a part of the ripples, which expands to the terrazzo floor, made up by white and different shades of grey. The ripples stop and end when they reach a pile of stones – in this case, it is the grey resting area named ‘House by Kubrick’. Surrounded by shelves filled up with film posters and DVDs, there are cozy sofas and chairs that offer a seat for film enthusiasts and a pause to the ripple.
The half-moon shaped ceiling outlets continue to shine near the escalators down to the third floor, hiding in between ripples. Here, extra clear long and thin glasses are patched up on the sides of the wall, acting as reflection bouncing off from the water. On the way descending to the hallway of the third floor, ripple effects seem to have increased. Lines gradually formed shapes that almost resemble a full circle, arcs ended up overlapping with each other. The ripples seemed to become more intense, leading us to the center of the ripples. Ceilings of the third floor are of the reversed colours, using bronze as background colour and white half-circle protruded layer decoration. The side of the layer is made of black steel glass, subtly reflecting the concealed lights in the ceiling. Walls of the hallway are made up of grey terrazzo, grey and white painted frosted glass, resembling the appearance of stones. Extending the meaning of stones at the lobby, some seats are placed on the sidewalls, using dark grey artificial rocks. Whenever one is ready, simply get up and follow the round black acrylic signage, where the ripple first started, where stories are projected onto our hearts.
There are two types of screening houses, the Standard House and IMAX House. IMAX House uses stone grey as the main colour, with mixture of different shades of grey faux leather seats that echo the uniqueness of stones. But not just the seating, even the walls and the floor also joined in to provide a space so comfortable like nature’s way. Concealed lighting, acrylic boards painted as concrete, matching grey and black wool-like cloth, natural grey carpet…as if the stones are telling us to listen; to listen to the story ahead. Nature is the same message Standard Houses are trying to convey. With a twist of colour, one into blue and another into orange, joined in with soft edged triangular decoration on the walls to mimic fishes in the water. The blue is as silent as deep ocean and the orange is as fresh as sandy beach: perhaps it is time to hold your breath and dive into silence, let the film lead you to a whole new world.
Whenever one needs a break, a shelter is open. The lavatory stands like a sea cave, created by waves and time. A bright white colour and some wooden pattern highlights are presented, stressing on the smooth lines and edges. Cubicles, mirrors, sinks, are all polished into round edges, just like the sharpness of rocks being soften by the sea.
Films are the pulse of water: it can be fierce and it can be mild; water reflects and water rejects. Whether one will end up float on it or get drowned by it, is not a choice but a chance. If you cannot row, maybe you should go with the flow.