Author : Yun Zhang

University : University of Applied Art, Vienna

Status : MArch, 2015

Advisors : Zaha Hadid, Patrik Schumacher

Title : Fly to Shop

Airport terminals are essentially [ movement systems ]. A good airport used to be defined by its clarity – the efficiency of delivering passengers from A to B. Airport shopping on the other hand functions as a labyrinth with the intention to slow down passengers and seduce them to pass by the shops as often as possible.

The chosen site to create a shopping mall is the parking zone between the four gates of Paris Charles De Gaulle’s Terminal 2.

Differentiated formations of waves are used as the geometrical principle to create an abstract field of [ network systems ] outlining the duality of acceleration (gates) and hesitation (shopping). The use of the colors in the graphic was later translated into routes and shops. Different network drawings were extracted from the initial graphic composition. Then by superimposing these layers of planes and fuse them on strategic locations to create a three level subtly varied, continuously differentiated shopping field.  The shops from airside are read as volumes piled of from network, while the shops at landside are translated into 2 level retail pods embedded in the network system.


S//A : What’s the most important aspect of this project that we should be aware of?
Yun Zhang_ In terms of the design process, I enjoyed starting the project with a theoretical outline and working on an abstract image with defined geometrical principles on a prototypical scale first. Then based on design parameters, reading and re-interpret the composition again and again. Graphics, drawing and physical models acted as medium for exploration. In the end I superimposed the result and start creating hierarchies in the circulation system and working on differentiated spatial conditions of the shops.
During this process, it shifted from a surface project to a volumetric project. As result, the circulation layer, shopping layout and the roof creases can be read as a coherent, navigated field condition.

S//A : What other fields outside of architecture interest you?
YZ_ Abstract art, I am currently looking at the drawings of the Indian artist Nasreen Mohamedi.

S//A : Most important thing you learned in architecture school?
YZ_ Work hard.

S//A : Describe your dream project
YZ_ Having a focus and do it obsessively.