A new kind of design: ‘Dome walk’ opens in Shanghai

Written by By Alix Miller, CNN

The ‘M23’ building, a dome-shaped commercial development outside Shanghai that’s due to open this year, seemingly comes to life from the ground.

Power and heating meters become lightbulbs, kitchen sinks become running water, floor tiles become rolls of toilet paper and more — just by changing the angle of the building’s four sides.

While the mechanism behind M23’s technology may be a little trippy, the installation has also been long in the making. Each one took 500 hours to build; every individual color was chosen by a team of 18 researchers and designers.

Unique ‘dome walk’ isn’t on display in China yet – but who knows?

It was all designed by Bligh Living , a Toronto-based architecture firm that makes commissions for high-end European and South American clients. The idea for M23 — whose final stage took four years to complete — came from a hotel that the company had worked on in Russia years earlier.

According to project leader Kimberley Klassen, she was struck by how unreal the structures seemed in the cities of Russia.

“That real estate, where the building is existing, is really iconic — at that point in time,” she told CNN. “It made me want to create something new, something different.”

As a ‘SkyDome’ – which also has a circular shape and lights up when things get dark – M23 is truly unique, though the pioneering building wasn’t the first of its kind to hit China. A 24-story residential skyscraper in Shanghai’s satellite city of Fuzhou, called ‘Twin Shals’, also has a weird opening mechanism.

While the Shanghai project faces competition from a handful of newer developments in the city, the building’s creation is certain to capture the imagination.

Leave a Comment