A property showroom can be a place of fantasy. It leads one into a world of glamour and style, sometimes in a way that is so extravagant and dramatic it can feel surreal. Unlike the property showrooms commonly seen in China—where glittering and lavish décor prevails—the China Vanke Co. residential sales office, designed by Kris Lin Interior Design of Shanghai, is an enthralling city oasis of serenity and peace.
Situated on a bustling street of Zhuhai, Guangzhou, China, this 10,000-square-foot showroom was designed as a refuge from the heavy traffic and noise outside. Its splendid isolation takes cues from elements of the Chinese garden but still meets the practical and functional needs of a real estate office. “I wanted to create an elegant space that integrates the concept of the Chinese garden into the interior,” notes project designer Kris Lin. “It invites visitors to embark on a self-discovery journey through garden landscapes.”
Despite this being an enclosed space, the garden oasis feel comes through. The setting comprises water features, vegetation, a bridge, and a pavilion, all meticulously laid out and inter-locking with one another. The journey begins upon entry, as visitors are led along a bridge (known as the “bridge of nine turnings” in Chinese) hovering just above water ponds. Every turn on the path offers a new scene, every step leads to a different perspective. “The zigzag bridge allows visitors to ease in and get away from the hectic environment outside. The calmness and tranquility prepare them for entering into another wonderful space,” Lin explains. This experience is intensified through the gurgling of water from a suspended wall above the lotus pond.
Passing through the arch at the end of the bridge, visitors encounter a wide area housing a video presentation room and a second volume displaying a large model of the sale property at its center. Situated on either side of these two relatively bulky structures are five semi-open VIP rooms and a café bar. The VIP rooms are reminiscent of a pavilion—an essential component of the traditional Chinese garden—yet modern in tone and furnishings. Within the pavilions, the clients can enjoy a high degree of privacy thanks to the rooms’ trapezoidal frames; at the same time, an opening on one side of each room gives visitors access to views of the entire showroom.
While the dynamic and interactive layout reflects the traditional wisdom of Chinese garden architecture, the way Lin mastered the use of modern materials and sculptures elevates the space to a true blend of modernism and sophistication. By making use of different textures and shapes through material selection—such as fabric, walnut, bamboo, travertine, marble, and carbon-finished stainless steel—Kris Lin succeeds in creating a noble and elegant ambiance that is more than just a direct adaptation of the traditional Chinese garden.