A Chinese metal company has pulled out all the stops to create a mesmerizing and mind-blowing experience for their clientele, complete with an entire stainless steel “canyon” entrance hall.
Designed by the Foshan branch of the Topway Design architecture firm, the new headquarters of ZCMetal was created to highlight the versatility and beauty of metal, as well as its connection with the natural world.
“As designers, we’re living in an environment with cold reinforced concrete buildings and fast-paced lifestyles, thus we are increasingly desiring to return to nature,” explains the Foshan Topway team. “Through this project, we intended to create a free, refreshing space where visitors would feel like they’re brought to nature and liberated from fatigue and burnout. Based on the design concept of ‘naturalism,’ we tried to integrate environment with nature to create a people-centered and personalized space.”
ZCMetal itself aims to endow its products with “artistic aesthetics, natural forms, and humanistic spirit.” Those products include customized metal furniture, decorations, and art installations, all fashioned using the powerful combo of modern carving technology and traditional craftsmanship.
The entry way/exhibition hall of the new HQ is designed to “wow” visitors as it leads them through a giant curving cavern, with layers of reflective steel mimicking the weathered texture of ancient canyon walls. LED lights from above allow the surfaces to change color, from blazing reds to icy grays. The ceiling can even be programmed to appear like a shimmering blanket of stars or a veil of billowy clouds. In one bend of the cavern, a metallic seat rises organically from the polished steel floor.
“We hoped to return metal to its original state and simplicity of nature,” add the architects. “Nature nurtures mankind’s creativity, while we give back to nature with creative thinking.”
Once outside the canyon, the view opens up to a two-story high reception area, complete with a lobby bar and conversation space. The reception desk is made from delicately molded steel, with a backdrop of artistically brushed metal surrounding an oval of geometric shapes and shadows. Giant metal water droplets are suspended mid-fall above the desk.
To the right, visitors can view the spiral staircase, itself enclosed by dark walls filled with neon LED polka dots. While the initial impression is reminiscent of a disco-era dance floor, the subsequent reflections created against adjacent walls produce echoes of trees and rivers of light. Just outside the space are a series of descending drops that suggest the idea of a waterfall.
Perpetuating the water theme is the landscaped area between the stairs and the reception desk, where Topway has sculpted a splash of metallic water backlit by more frosty blue LEDs.
Overall, the ZCMetal Headquarters exudes a feeling of modern power and wonder, with a nod toward the nature that sustains today’s technology.
Founded in 2002, Topway Design began in Shanghai and has since expanded across 24 Chinese provinces and Canada. They specialize in the architectural planning and design of real estate development projects. Some of their larger undertakings include Dalian Jinzhou Greenland Center and the Taiyuan Tsinghua Science Park.