CITIC SQUARE Renovation / Kokaistudios

CITIC SQUARE Renovation / Kokaistudios

CITIC SQUARE Renovation / Kokaistudios - Exterior Photography, Cityscape, FacadeCITIC SQUARE Renovation / Kokaistudios - Exterior Photography, Facade, CityscapeCITIC SQUARE Renovation / Kokaistudios - Exterior Photography, FacadeCITIC SQUARE Renovation / Kokaistudios - Interior Photography, WindowsCITIC SQUARE Renovation / Kokaistudios - More Images+ 35

Shanghai, China
  • Cheif Architects: Andrea Destefanis, Filippo Gabbiani
  • Architecture Design Director: Wei Li
  • Architecture Design Team: Muyun Zhao, Eva Maria Paz Taibo, Dongyin Li, Ru Chen
  • Interior Design Director: Rake Wang
  • Interior Design Team: Muyun Zhao, Ru Chen, Xiaowan Shen, Sara Zhang, Chenyu Huang
  • Text: Frances Arnold
  • Local Design Institute: Arcplus Institute of Shanghai Architectural Design & Research(Co.,Ltd.)
  • City: Shanghai
  • Country: China
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CITIC SQUARE Renovation / Kokaistudios - Exterior Photography, Facade
© Terrence Zhang

Text description provided by the architects. Kokaistudios’ recently completed architectural renovation project of the CITIC SQUARE shopping mall epitomizes Shanghai’s inherent duality. With a futuristic aesthetic combining multimedia elements and some of today’s most sought-after brands, it sits seamlessly alongside one of the city’s best-preserved examples of traditional, historic lane housing. Located in the Jingan district on the main thoroughfare Nanjing West Road, the transformed building’s pixel-inspired facade and carefully selected materials break the traditional ‘box’ shape to blur the boundaries between city and mall, public and private. Completed in 2000, the mall lacked several of the elements demanded by today’s lifestyle-led retail environment: flexible multimedia components; attractive outdoor spaces; and eye-catching interiors for high-profile, luxury F&B outlets. Kokaistudios’ interior and exterior renovation not only brings the mall up to date in terms of a destination shopping-hospitality experience, it successfully reintegrates CITIC SQUARE into the fabric of Shanghai by opening up previously hidden vistas and playing on the scale to complement the mall’s layered urban context.

CITIC SQUARE Renovation / Kokaistudios - Exterior Photography, Cityscape, Facade
© Terrence Zhang
CITIC SQUARE Renovation / Kokaistudios - Exterior Photography, Facade, Cityscape
© Terrence Zhang

Pixels are central to Kokaistudios’ design approach. Their interpretation is both literal - such as the mall’s transparent grid facade - as well as conceptual: individual units that come together create a cohesive whole. They are most visible on the mall’s Nanjing Road frontage where an outdated glass and stone facade has been replaced by a series of large-sized rectangles and squares of varying dimensions and graduated opacities, each protruding from the building’s core volume to create the impression of floating. Effectively acting as individual shop windows, this ‘pixel’ approach allows tenants to customize their own vitrines. Because each cube juts out from the building, passing street traffic is subject to three-dimensional impressions of the storefronts’ exterior.

CITIC SQUARE Renovation / Kokaistudios - Exterior Photography, Facade, Windows
© Terrence Zhang
CITIC SQUARE Renovation / Kokaistudios - Exterior Photography, Windows, Facade, Cityscape
© Terrence Zhang

Despite their contemporary connotations, the ‘pixels’ connect the mall to its historic urban context. Directly opposite is one of the city’s best-preserved lòngtáng: typical of Shanghai and dating from the early twentieth century, they are walled compounds of traditional lane housing, usually two- to three-stories in height. CITIC SQUARE’s pixels facade creates a scale in keeping with the older architecture opposite. The dialogue between old and new continues through the frontage’s materials of fully transparent glass panes, semi-opaque glass bricks, and UHPC concrete panels.

CITIC SQUARE Renovation / Kokaistudios - Exterior Photography, Windows, Cityscape
© Terrence Zhang
CITIC SQUARE Renovation / Kokaistudios - Exterior Photography, Facade
© Terrence Zhang

A network of gardens both sunken and floating further blur the boundaries between private and public space, CITIC SQUARE, and the city of Shanghai. These include terraces atop each of the facade’s pixel windows, significantly enhancing stores’ attractiveness to shoppers through the unique views. Previously a repository for the mall’s mechanical functions and equipment, the roof has also been transformed into an outdoor dining area for CITIC SQUARE’s anchor F&B tenant and the square outdoor activity area. In an expansion of the mall’s footprint, a twin sunken garden has been installed on its eastern side, mirroring an existing one to the West. The intervention facilitates flow through CITIC SQUARE’s basement level which will focus predominantly on lifestyle.

CITIC SQUARE Renovation / Kokaistudios - Interior Photography, Windows
© Terrence Zhang
CITIC SQUARE Renovation / Kokaistudios - Interior Photography, Stairs, Windows
© Terrence Zhang

The design approach of breaking up the big-box mall continues inside the space, where a formerly vast atrium is now dissected by a mezzanine. Because lower levels’ flagship custom-made facades allow for greater light control as opposed to upper floors’ abundance of transparent glass, the platform creates two distinct atmospheres, signaling shoppers’ journey between fashion below, and F&B above. The renovation also shifts visitor flow from up and down, to through the space thanks to escalators at the mall’s two entrances, both of which have been configured to anticipate their likely demographic. For example, the East entrance opens into a lifestyle space due to its proximity to the Nanjing Xi Lu subway station. The West entrance is close to nearby luxury shopping destination Plaza 66 and guides visitors towards thematically similar high-end fashion.

CITIC SQUARE Renovation / Kokaistudios - Interior Photography, Kitchen
© Terrence Zhang
CITIC SQUARE Renovation / Kokaistudios - Interior Photography
© Terrence Zhang

Like a secondary circulation tracking that of shoppers, LED screens run throughout the atrium in an infinite loop. Fully customizable, they update the mall into a dynamic multimedia space. Resembling a pulsating data flow, they reinforce CITIC SQUARE’s pixel theme with digital, literal, and futuristic effects. The design trope is revisited in an abstract way in striking lift lobbies, where walls of glass bricks create impactful pixelated numbers. In order to stand out in Shanghai’s increasingly congested retail landscape, malls must move with the times. At the same time, these large-footprint buildings must be comprehensively and seamlessly incorporated into public spaces. Kokaistudios’ smart renovation of CITIC SQUARE achieves just this balance: now fully flexible multimedia, lifestyle venue, it doesn’t dominate the Jingan skyline; rather it complements a rich, varied urban fabric.

CITIC SQUARE Renovation / Kokaistudios - Exterior Photography, Facade, Cityscape
© Terrence Zhang

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Address:Shanghai, China

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Cite: "CITIC SQUARE Renovation / Kokaistudios" 01 Sep 2022. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/988223/citic-square-renovation-kokaistudios> ISSN 0719-8884

© Terrence Zhang

中信泰富广场改造 / Kokaistudios

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