commissioned by the brand CONCEPTS, dongqi architects has created a new retail store within an existing shikumen-style building in shanghai. situated at the south block of xintiandi, the historical brick structure has stood for over 100 years and represents a traditional typology of housing or ‘stone warehouse gates’ in the city. to create the renovated space, the architect has restored the original architectural form and adorned it with a contemporary and metallic intervention. 

dongqi architects creates metal clad columns for concept store renovation in shanghai designboom
all images courtesy of dongqi Architects

 

 

for the design of CONCEPT’s first store in china, the plan needed to be divided into two functions: daily retail sales and releases of limited-edition sneakers. to form this distinction, dongqi Architects created two different atmospheres. the front space maintains the cozy ambience of the original shikumen style of buildings in old shanghai – ideal 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, this area is built with anodic aluminum oxide, stainless steel, metal textiles, carbon fiber and terrazzo.

dongqi architects creates metal clad columns for concept store renovation in shanghai designboom

interior view of the new CONCEPTS retail store

 

 

the original building had a row of columns, which, after careful consideration, dongqi Architects decided to strengthen. they designed and added two more rows of columns to form an umbrella-shaped system, which successfully reinforces the order of space. under the umbrella-shaped system, there are relatively independent and quiet showrooms for merchandising displays. these elements intends to create a sense of solemnness and makes shopping a special experience. moreover, it makes the circulation aisle appear clean and pure while bringing a sense of drama to the room.

dongqi architects creates metal clad columns for concept store renovation in shanghai designboom

the umbrella-shaped columns intend to create a sense of solemnness

 

 

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 fulfill 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.

dongqi architects creates metal clad columns for concept store renovation in shanghai designboom

the architects wanted to make shopping a special experience

 

 

walls at two sides of the space are made of mirror-finish stainless steel and concrete, effectively widening the space and multiplying the number of columns. 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. shoppers 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 pressure at different parts of the walls.

dongqi architects creates metal clad columns for concept store renovation in shanghai designboom

dongqi Architects created 3-axis joints to support adjustable display racks, walls of the fitting room, doorknobs and hangers that can suit different angles

 

 

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 to passersby that the room inside has something new and special to offer.

dongqi architects creates metal clad columns for concept store renovation in shanghai designboom

the old building contrasts with the new, metallic intervention

dongqi architects creates metal clad columns for concept store renovation in shanghai designboom

the front elevation of the renovated shikumen-style building

dongqi architects creates metal clad columns for concept store renovation in shanghai designboom

each of the specially created joints enables 3-axis rotation so as to fix materials firmly to a position and fulfill customized functions

dongqi architects creates metal clad columns for concept store renovation in shanghai designboom

detail of the slats

dongqi architects creates metal clad columns for concept store renovation in shanghai designboom

the slats of shutters, which are made of anodic alumina, are able to change angles at different heights

dongqi architects creates metal clad columns for concept store renovation in shanghai designboom

umbrella shaped columns

dongqi architects creates metal clad columns for concept store renovation in shanghai designboom

floor plan

 

 

project info:

 

project name: CONCEPTS xintiandi

location: shanghai, china

architect: dongqi architects

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: lynne myers | designboom