uufie develops 3D glass façade for ports 1961’s flagship shanghai store
photography by shengliang su 




making its mark within a commercial district in shanghai, china, high-end fashion house ports 1961 commissioned canadian studio uufie to develop their flagship store’s façade. the resulting design of the store-front is dynamic- reflecting the forward-thinking and vision of ports 1961 and at the same time, evokes the brand’s origin and evolution. the ambivalent nature of the design is conceptualized from an iceberg that is floating freely in the ocean, giving the sense that it is shaped by the environment. as well as being a distinctively prominent feature on the busy intersection, the architectural strategy explores the possibilities of design experimentation.

the store is located on the intersection of changde road and nanjing west road in shanghai




in addition to the morphing of form, material and technology, the façade combines both tradition and contemporary interpretations. the use of two types of glass block has resulted in the sculpted three-dimensional nature illustrating cantilevered structures. during the day, the cladding reflects the sunlight, meanwhile, during the night, the LED lights installed, illuminates the ongoing car and street lights- highlighting the transformative nature of the vibrant city and the people of shanghai.

the façade is representative of the future vision of ports 1961 that brings together its origin and evolution


the facade is composed of two types of glass blocks

an elaborate ornamental stepping canopy is achieved that naturally angles to the flow of pedestrian


the usage of satin glass block and shot blasted stainless steel material is in great contrast to the city

the surface illuminates due to the embedded LED lights which are integrated into the joints of the masonry

the façade is prominent among the commercial district


project info:


project title: ports 1961 shanghai  
location: shanghai, china
project size: 1145 sqm
design period: 2013 – 2014
construction period: 2014 – 2015
client: ports 1961
design architect: uufie
general contractor: j. gartner & co. (hk) ltd.
project coordinator: yabu pushelberg
façade engineer: t/e/s/s atelier d’ingénierie
lighting consultant: inverse