Arcades in the past always put emphasis on games. However, as time progresses, arcade almost becomes a sunset industry because large-scale entertainment machines are gradually replaced by house hold console as well as Personal computer. Therefore, Kuan Xu considers that arcades should also pay attention to the culture of gaming besides game itself. In his arcade architectural design, he puts an eye on the perspective of gaming and its development, and incorporate the history of arcade gaming into the arcade interior design
For the exterior design, Kuan uses a pixel art style to display some classic game characters. The combination of yellow, grey and blue was one
of the most popular color combination back in 80s, adding a sense of nostalgia. In addition, I also repetitively employ neon technique so that the whole building would light up at night, which is referred to the sci-fi aesthetic in the 80's.
After entering the room, visitors will walk into an aisle. The decoration of the aisle mimics the elements in the film ‘Tron: Legacy’. With the application of lED strips, the interior design gives people a strong sense of speed and movement. On the display stand is a robot named WOODY, the mascot of this ‘Pixel World’ arcade. The mascot will also repeatedly appear in other areas, but its appearance will change along with different environment. On getting out of the aisle, the lighting and the atmosphere of the space change instantly. Visitors will then reach the area of VR system experience, one of the latest gaming experience, this area serves as the first and the last stop of gaming history.
The first floor of the arcade is divided by game category, such as racing games, sports games, dance games and etcetera. Every area has its own
unique lighting and decoration. For instance, the area of dance game has disco ball emitting colorful dizzying light; the area of sports game has wood flooring, bathed in warm yellowish light, and the area of race racing game is coordinated with bright white lighting with race-track-like flooring. In perspective of drop ceiling design, Kuan uses LED strips and circular ceiling lamps to match the aisle. Additionally, light shed on the ground, across the
pixel-like cubes hung from the ceiling, would appear in shapes of arrows and text that work as floor guides. The design not only has a practical function, but also adds more visual Easter eggs to the space.
On the second floor is a tunnel displaying the history of arcade gaming. The exhibition is chronologically divided into five decades from 60s to 00s.
Each area is decorated with unique and representative elements of that period of time, and thus it would be like moving through time when walking in the tunnel. He put emphasis on designing the areas of 60s and 90s. Back in 60s, the electronic arcade machines are not popular yet, but the ingeniously designed mechanism of gaming machines brought people a lot of fun. Therefore, Kuan choosed to use classic European style of decoration to embody he feeling of that era. In the 90‘s, hip-hop and street culture were prevailing, and meanwhile, more and more movies tended to incorporate elements of crimes and prisons. Hence, I combine the street style with prison elements accordingly in the design of this area.