2022 IID 🏆 Awards


DEJI Cultural Complex is a new type of entertainment venue that provides a fusion of cultural-arts complex and commercial facility on its top 7300㎡ floor. The place has sophisticated yet inviting ambiance since there is no walls between each area. Eliminating entire walls freed the space from having the boundaries between inside and outside—giving customers a little “preview” before entering the space.

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Silver 🏆 Winner
International Interior Design Awards 2022

Commercial Interior Built


Shiho Mizuno

Design Team
Masato Kure, Masashi Ota

Nanjing, China



DEJI Cultural Complex provides a fusion of cultural-arts and commercial facility.  And it has six extensive facilities including an art museum, a museum, a bookstore, shops, and a café on its top 7300㎡ floor.  The coexistence of these facilities allows customers to stop by at one they would not have otherwise visited. What makes our design innovative is that we entirely got rid of walls between spaces. By eliminating partitions, it freed the space from having the boundaries between inside and outside—giving customers a little “preview” before entering the space. We used two main ideas to get rid of walls and to eliminate the boundaries between inside and outside. First is water. We installed large water basins at the entrance instead of walls. The second is “rods.” Instead of having solid walls, countless white rods are hanging from ceiling. It represents the elements found in nature, such as rain, clouds, and sunlight. The placement of the basins and rods blurs the boundary between the outside and the inside of the museum, which draws visitor’s attention without stepping into the museum. By combining facilities and eliminating walls, we were able to achieve creating a completely new entertainment venue where people feel more comfortable stopping by at place that was traditionally considered high culture and exclusive.

Another important design features for this plaza are that it reflects the people and city of Nanjing. In fact, our design team lived in Nanjing for several months to get the sense of its culture, people, environment, and ambiance. We incorporated what we learned into the design. For example, the passageway leading from entrance reflects the beauty you would see in the city such as lights filtering through lines of Aogiri trees on street. We noticed Nanjing doesn’t need a trendy flashy mall. We designed this plaza to complements the calm and classy feeling of Nanjing.

In addition, this complex is designed specifically for the visitors. Every detail was carefully calculated for people to relax and enjoy the venue while giving thorough attention to the functionality and safety measure. For instance, the water basin designed as a divider is purposely designed at comfortable chair height, therefore it also functions as bench for people to relax and hang out. The numerous rods hanging from entrance ceiling functions as space divider while it is set to the exact length and placement to prevent visitors from touching it for their safety. In another area, we created interactive and immersive exhibition space where visitors can play mini-games while learning about history.

We believe that the integration of commercial and cultural facility creates more sustainable economic benefit. It elevated the brand value of the facilities and gives people opportunity to experience art and culture even if they just came for shopping, and vice versa. Our design inherited the culture and history of Nanjing city in a modern way while promoting wellbeing of the people by understanding their needs.