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2023 MUSE Gold Winner

Joy Breeze

Suzhou, China

Client: China Oil and Foodstuffs Corporation
Completion: 2021

Joy Breeze, Suzhou, is part of the Grand Joy Group, one of the largest mall developers in China. Joy Breeze caters to a younger demographic, families and tends to promote an active, mid-range retail experience. Joy Breeze, Suzhou comprises of 340,000sq.m. of retail space. Our responsibility was for total wayfinding, environmental graphics and signage both externally and internally.

The concept inspiration began with understanding the architectural form, which essentially was the idea of stacked gift boxes. Thus we were designing for a very geometrical environment. The most prominent architectural block, at the top the development, was finished in a vivid red colour making it visible from a good distance away. 

We took the architectural concept as our starting point, looking for ways to contribute to the concept rather than simply replicate it. The idea of stacked gift boxes suited the signage well, but we also drew a parallel between the bright red architectural box and the 2-dimensional paintings of Mondrian, and sought to pull these two ideas together to broaden the frame of reference. And, finally, as the mall was a family-oriented centre, we chose to combine the architectural concept with the idea of children’s building blocks, to better relate our signage to the family unit.

Externally we chose materials and details that more reflected the architectural façade in order to maintain a consistent identity for the project yet, in keeping with the playful nature of the building block concept, we intentionally included small-scale detailing better relate to the people who used the mall.

Originally we intended to amplify the playfulness as we moved inside the mall with the introduction of bold colours and additional detail, but the client preferred to maintain a more mature, sophisticated image internally. Thus we adapted the vocabulary established externally for use within the mall itself. Whilst this reduced the playfulness of the signage, it reinforced the overall identity of the mall and projected a more elegant and restrained feeling.

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