kengo kuma transforms shanghai shipyard with graduated brick façades
 

kengo kuma transforms shanghai shipyard with graduated brick façades

on the banks of shanghai’s huangpu river, kengo kuma has transformed a disused shipyard into a vibrant new destination that contains a theater, retail outlets, and a new brick facade. built in 1972, the brick building was the last factory existing in lujiazui — now the city’s thriving financial center. when in use, massive ships were built inside the cavernous structure before being delivered directly onto the adjacent river. consequently, the building comprises a series of 200 meter-long column-less sheds.

kengo kuma shanghai shipyard
built in 1972, the brick building was the last factory existing in lujiazui
image © eiichi kano (main image © erieta attali)

 

 

kengo kuma and associates (KKAA) was tasked with filling this volume with commercial programming and a mid-sized theater facility. in order to preserve the building’s spatial qualities, the design team created a 30 meter-tall void that runs throughout the entire structure — allowing visitors to experience the shipyard’s impressive scale. the effect is further strengthened by the concrete columns that support the building.

kengo kuma shanghai shipyard
the brickwork graduates across the façade
image © eiichi kano

 

 

the factory’s north façade, with its original brickwork restored, is oriented to face the river. however, to the south, the factory is more exposed with its heavy concrete columns on view. ‘in order to establish a dialogue between these south and north façades, and emphasize this fascinating duality, we have designed the main façade (west side) as a brickwork gradation changing its density and permeability from the opacity of the north side into the complete transparency of the south side,’ explains KKAA.

kengo kuma shanghai shipyard
to the south, the factory is exposed with its heavy concrete columns on view
image © eiichi kano

 

 

internally, the theater is situated at the eastern end of the building, close to the river. during performances, a curtain at the rear of the stage can be removed, offering views of the river through a large glass window. other projects by kengo kuma in china include a tea house, which was renovated using hollow polyethylene blocks, and a folk museum for the china academy of art.

kengo kuma shanghai shipyard
the view out from behind the perforated brick façade
image © eiichi kano

kengo kuma shanghai shipyard
the elevation casts a pattern across the building’s internal spaces
image © eiichi kano

kengo kuma shanghai shipyard
the venue contains a range of retail outlets
image © erieta attali

kengo kuma shanghai shipyard
the architects sought to retain the building’s existing spatial qualities
image © erieta attali

kengo kuma shanghai shipyard
many parts of the structure have been restored
image © erieta attali

kengo kuma shanghai shipyard
the theater boasts an industrial aesthetic
image © eiichi kano

kengo kuma shanghai shipyard
the theater is situated at the eastern end of the building
image © eiichi kano

 

 

project info:

 

location: shanghai, china
completed: may, 2017
use: retail, theater, multipurpose room
area: 31,626 sqm
partner in charge: javier villar ruiz

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