Category: Shopping centres
USCE SHOPPING CENTRE

BELGRADE - SERBIA

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FIANDRE
60x30 Brown Ground Honed
60x60 Brown Ground Honed
60x30 Desert Silk-Touch
60x60 Desert Silk-Touch

XTRA GRANITIFIANDRE
60x60 Blossom Bronze
60x60 Blossom Glossy

Photos: Alexa Rainer

Year: 2009
Square Meters: 70000

Collaborators: Gerardo Sannella (Associate Director), Raffaella Audiffredi, John Wilson (Project Architects) Nicoletta Sanchini (Management) Valeria Alebbi, Alberto Arosio, Kristina Madirazza, Fabio Mantegazza, Massimiliano Mattiello, Andrea Zanarella (Architects)
3D Simulations: Studio Savastano Venezia
Built Area: 130,000 m2
Commercial Area: 70,000 m2
Total Cost: 150 Milion Euros
Photos: Alexa Rainer

Usce's commercial center, which includes the Usce tower, the tallest building in the Balkans, stands in an area of profound natural beauty, positioned as it is along the boundary of the large urban park that defines and contains the meeting point between the Sava and the Danube.
It is the hinge between the old town and the recent expansion of the city. In the area bounded by Boulevard Nicolae Testla and Boulevard Mihaijlo Pupina is drawn a large triangular square, dotted with benches, totems and spaces relationally characterized, in their design, by the chromatic contrast of cement blocks in anthracite, gray and zinc, used as ground covering. A square that contains contrast, while simultaneously introducing the expressionistic mass that characterizes the entire shopping center designed by Chapman Taylor Architects.
A volume that stands out from the main facade, thanks to dynamic "arrow" red volumes which perform multiple functions.
They in fact indicate in a graphic and unmistakable way the entrance volume, signalling unequivocally the perception of "speed" that can be seen from the Boulevard and mark the geometry of the luminous "base" that supports the play of volumetric advance and retreat that characterizes the architecture of the Usce shopping mall. An architecture that deliberately renounces simple geometries that commonly characterize the commercial 'ships', to emphasize contrarily recognition through chiaroscuro, obtained thanks to the "floating" effect of the volumes on top of the base, from their different depths, and through the design of the enormous brise soleil, and an unconventional use of color, which thus transforms the facade of Usce into a new Belgrade landmark.
A Landmark that by night through the controlled use of light that inverts the diurnal dynamic volumetric hierarchies, thus increasing the sense of amazement and surprise from visitors, underlining, even more so in this way, the architectural exuberance of the project.
The material treatment envisaged for the elevation of a facade this important provides for the use of 14,000sqm of Quartz-Zinc zinc titanium 0.8mm thick panels, for the supportive parts of the building structure, and a Umicore Griffe-Matt Pluss aluminum 2.5mm thick covering, pre-painted in red and light gray for the more jutting and expressive masses. In addition, to highlight the second entrance and to empty in one of the corners the architectural mass, it was decided to use U-shaped Pilkington Profilit glass.
This surprising effect is repeated once you have entered into the Shopping Mall space. For here infact the multilevel articulation of the commercial center has suggested architectural solutions designed to enhance this spatial characteristic with the objective of transforming the interior of the galleria into a great flood of light, overhung and illuminated by a skylight that covers it for its entire length.
Luminous and innovative materials contribute to the comprehension of the space without impeding the readability of the facility.
A facility in which 3.50m high glass facades, minimal pilasters, glassed parapets with light semitranslucent glazes, contemporary design fixtures, such as benches covered in "Blossom" Xtra_GranitiFiandre in bronze with floral embossed textures, are the interior design ingredients, which in contrast to the exterior image, deviate towards the theme of simplicity.
A simple, elegant and understandable design emphasized by grès porcelain tile flooring in neutral colors, part of the Fiandre collection.
A flooring, "Desert silk touch" in tint and finish for the mall and "Brown Ground" for the squares, which in accord with the light shades of the walls amplifies and makes vibrant, for most hours of the day, the effect of natural light coming through the skylight that covers almost the entire gallery.
The same interior space is thus transformed into an evocative well of light, in which the Chapman Taylor architects were able to create, through architecture and its control, a piece of that "emotional history" that every retail designer and every buyer tries to make the shopping space experience unforgettable.

Guido Incerti
From Materia n°64 - THE GREAT SIZE

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