dongqi Architects is commissioned by CONCEPTS to renovate a Shikumen-style ('Stone Warehouse Gate') old building into its first concept store in China. The old building is located at the South Block of Xintiandi and has served Shanghai for over 100 years.
项目需要兼顾日常零售和限量球鞋产品发布活动两种不同的使用需求，dongqi Architects将原始空间分割为两种截然不同的气氛。沿主道路的前部空间延续老上海石库门建筑原有的气质，营造出自由放松的会客厅氛围，作为展厅及活动使用，并将后部零售空间与主道路隔离开保持神秘感。材质则使用与前部空间完全不同的阳极氧化铝，不锈钢，金属编织物，碳纤维及水磨石等 。
In this project, the store needs to reconcile two different operational needs -- daily retail sales and releases of limited-edition sneakers. dongqi Architects divides the original space into two spaces with distinguishable vibes. The front space along the main path is in keeping with the original Shikumen style of buildings in old Shanghai. Its delightful and cozy ambiance makes it a suitable reception room for product shows or events. The back space for retail sales is deliberately blocked from the main path to create a sense of mystery. Unlike the front space, the back space is built with anodic aluminum oxide, stainless steel, metal textiles, carbon fiber and terrazzo etc.
The original building had a row of columns at the center that might negatively affect retailing. After careful consideration, dongqi Architects decided to strengthen the presence of the columns to give an impression of orderliness. They designed and added two more rows of columns to form an umbrella-shaped system, which successfully reinforced the order of space. Under the umbrella-shaped system, there are relatively independent and quiet showrooms for merchandising displays. This way of display gives out a sense of solemnness and makes shopping a special experience. Moreover, it enables the access aisle to look clean and pure and brings a sense of drama to the room.
In the umbrella-shaped system, shutters are open or closed to certain degrees based on a designed algorithm. The slats of shutters, which are made of anodic alumina, are able to change angles at different heights to meet the operational needs while maintaining aesthetics. For example, the MEP air conditioning and the lighting system are hidden at the higher place of the columns and the power system are hidden at the lower place. Lights, closed-circuit television, audio sound system, and fire safety equipment are carefully placed between columns.
Anodic alumina slats of different shapes are fixed to each position by stainless-steel joints specially designed, prototyped and produced for CONCEPTS. Each of the specially created joints enables 3-axis rotation so as to fix materials firmly to a position and fulfil customized functions. The joints are also used to make the adjustable display racks, walls of the fitting room, doorknobs and hangers that can suit different angles.
空间两侧墙面分别采用镜面不锈钢和混凝土两种材质，由此产生一个镜像的空间，视觉上增加了空间的宽度和伞的数量，增强了整个场所的序列感。 地面水磨石的分缝为伞型系统的正投影线，并沿纵深方向水磨石颜色配比逐渐变化，产生错觉。与之对应的是镜面不锈钢墙体表面采用不同程度的的手工打磨，产生整体由纯镜面到雾面的均匀渐变 。
Walls at two sides of the space are made of mirror-finish stainless steel and concrete. These materials create another space in mirror. The mirror effect widens the space and multiplies the number of umbrella columns, giving a stronger sense of order. Another optical illusion of depth is created by overlapping joint lines of the terrazzo floor with the orthogonal projection of the umbrella-shaped system and changing terrazzo mixture. One may notice that the floor gradually switches colors. To match the style of the floor, the whole surface of stainless-steel walls shows a gradient effect from mirror-like finish to matte finish. This is achieved by a hand-crafted polishing method that changes polishing pressures at different parts of the walls.
Elements of the umbrella-shaped system can also be found at the door and windows of the building façade, in which stainless-steel materials have been rotated vertically to 90 degrees and embellished into the old Shikumen-style grey bricks. They are the first clue that the room inside has something new and special to offer.
Project Title: CONCEPTS XINTIANDI
Location: Unit 2, Block 2&3, 123 Xinye Rd, Shanghai, China
Architect Firm: dongqi Architects
Team: JIANG Nan, Jinfan Xie, Zhiyi He, Xiaoyang Liu, Zhongwei Wang, Tianjian Zhou, Chiu Chi-Kui, Yeh Zhi-Ting
Design: Mar, 2018
Completion: Sep, 2018
Area: 290 ㎡
Photography: Qingshan Wu