Lighting up Huafa

Architecturally conceived

Light – the possibilities it presents in the arena of art, design and performance are endless. This, we explored, experimented and experienced in our work on the LED media canopy and façade of Huafa Commercial Plaza in Zhuhai, China.

Designed and developed in collaboration with HOK architects, the LED media canopy and façade are complex, architecturally integrated and permanent structures. This is best showcased in the media canopy and external feature screen. Fully integrated, they are architectural in nature; not a separate ‘bolted-on’ product. On the interior and façade, these screens may be used to display still and moving imagery. The suggested theme in our concept was a dynamic screening of the five elements which can be sequenced harmoniously through video streaming onto the canopy. They may, however, go a step further. Strategically placed and angled, each functions as premium advertising space.

Creating the media canopy

The design of the media canopy was developed to complement the beautifully light-weight and transparent ETFE canopy. This was achieved by setting a ‘pitch’ between the LED pixels which creates space between the pixels; thereby ensuring that the sky is still very much visible to shoppers within the covered street during both night and day. To accommodate for this day-night usage, the media-canopy was designed to function at two different brightness.

8 Zhuhai Ave, Xiangzhou Qu, Zhuhai Shi, Guangdong Sheng, China
Category Retail | Mixed Use
Year 2016
Size -
This mounting location close to the water level achieves optimum resolution and clarity of the water-screen. The equipment and control system also includes an advanced blending function to achieve visual clarity.
The LED canopy and façade systems required highly complex control systems. An expert supplier with solid experience and competence in permanently controlled LED systems was engaged to ensure that these features were synchronised with the other lighting and media content across the site and controlled by an overall management system.
Both the water-screen and media canopy have been designed such that they may be programmed to work together harmoniously or operate at different times.

Maximising commercial features

In conceptualising the lighting aesthetics of the mall, our core design approach was always to minimise visual clutter by integrating and making invisible all lighting fixtures, where possible. This is so to maximise views towards important commercial features of the site. To achieve these goals, we recommended that all water-projection equipment be enclosed below or close to ground level to avoid any visual obstruction. These spaces housing the equipment are temperature-controlled to optimum conditions to ensure the longevity of the project equipment. 

A localised water jet system was also installed creating the largest dancing fountain in Southern China. The dual-purpose system with integrated LED lighting gives a diverse range of entertainment from a coloured dynamic fountain during the day to water projection screen at night.

Photo Credits: HOK & iLab

Specialist Services

Integrated services provided for this project.