Hong Kong-based Oft Interiors engages in the planning of movie theatres with entrance/ticket areas made to look like the spaceships

Palace Cinemas, Raffle City, Shenzhen.

Because of its „longevity and ease of care“ natural stone is the material of choice

Modern cinema complexes are the stuff dreams are made of. And literally that is what Oft Interiors is aiming for when planning entrance-/ticket-/reception areas in movie theatres around Hong Kong and China. Natural stone as a flooring and wall cladding plays a major role in design and planning.

But first a word on the history of the cinema: around 1920 the first movie theatre was built along the lines of established theatres and opera houses – opulence was called for in an attempt to lift it to the cultural standard of the latter.

Today this in no-longer the issue.

Emperor UA Cinemas, The Hub, Shanghai.

Cinemas by Oft Interiors are working with the metaphor of mobility as a sign of the times: the entrance and ticket areas resemble a departure lounge, whereby the objects preparing for takeoff are imaginary spaceships.

Emperor UA Cinemas, Midtown, Zhuhai.Emperor UA Cinemas, Midtown, Zhuhai.Emperor UA Cinemas, Midtown, Zhuhai.

Accordingly, the design is futuristic – the high ceilings which are the norm in theatres and central train stations give way to low ceiling, wide areas: straight forward, clean, manageable lending a sense of security. Wide open spaces, where no one has gone before, are open to visitors after takeoff.

The material of choice is natural stone, distinguished by its mass, durability and rigidity. These are properties which, at first glance, have nothing in common with the movies as a medium. But the reasoning behind the choice lies in the client’s wishes: „Our clients value the low maintenance as well as the durability of the project; more than this stones provide varieties according to pattern and colorway which help a lot for creating different atmosphere“ writes CM Jao, one of Oft Interior’s founders.

Palace Cinemas, Sincere Plaza, Chongqing.Palace Cinemas, Sincere Plaza, Chongqing.Palace Cinemas, Sincere Plaza, Chongqing.

On the other hand, Luxury is not a sought commodity. Cinema visitors are to enjoy „Luxury in white-glove treatment and service“, according to CM Jao.

Oft Interiors places great value in consistency. Each section in each theatre should have the same look and distinguishing factors.

The concept was granted the German Design Award 2017 in the Excellent Communications Design/Interior Architecture category. The designers also focus on shopping centers, restaurants and bars.

The office was founded in 2013 by CM Jao and Ken Chung. It is based in Hong Kong and currently employs a team of 10.

Oft Interiors

Photos: Oft Interiors

Emperor UA Cinemas, The Hub, Shanghai.Emperor UA Cinemas, The Hub, Shanghai.Emperor UA Cinemas, The Hub, Shanghai.

(14.12.2017, USA: 12.14.2017)