Inauguration of the Shanghai Jiuguang Center of UNStudio

the Shanghai Jiuguang Center, the largest shopping complex in northern Shanghai, designed by A studio architecture studio in collaboration with Nihon Sekkei, was recently completed and inaugurated. The two companies worked together to create a structure that could also fulfill a social role and become a point of reference not only for clients-consumers, but also for the community. Architect Ben van berkel of the UNStudio, during the presentation of the project for the Shanghai Jiuguang Center, highlighted the social role played by this type of building in China. Not just a retail complex, but public spaces serving the city, where culture and commerce meet and where architecture fulfills a larger function.
the Shanghai Jiuguang Center was built in a bustling area of ​​Shanghai, with an architectural firm Nihon sekkei design the outer shell and A studio design all the interior spaces of the shopping center, including the central courtyard and its facades, as well as the public roof terrace.
The user experience, understood both as a shopping experience and as an interaction with the different spaces, was the main concept for the development of the project. The outer layer of the complex resembles a protective shell that opens inward to reveal a fluid and luminous experience. Paths and emotions converge in the central core, a full height courtyard designed as an interior landscaped space. The great central void thus appears as a pearl of light, an effect enhanced by the ceramic tile cladding of the courtyard facade, which takes on dynamic pearly reflections when lit by the sun. The full-height empty space allows for cross-sectional views and visually connects all levels of the complex, which are interconnected by flowing escalators and a panoramic staircase crossing the central void.
Equipped with green spaces and seating integrated into the structure, the courtyard is a pleasant meeting and resting place that users can enjoy at any time of the day, while also hosting events relevant to the mall or the community. Distributed around the perimeter of the courtyard, and connected to it by projecting balconies and ribbon windows, are three internal voids. The materials and finishes chosen for each void define three different identities corresponding to three different business themes running vertically through the complex: the “urban playground“where lights and colors evoke the dynamism of the metropolis,”the urban oasis“where warm colors are inspired by nature, and finally”urban walkway“in which dark, shiny materials recreate the city’s nocturnal atmosphere. The ceiling incorporates an element that allows users to easily navigate, indicating service areas and vertical connections (elevators and escalators) located next to voids.

(Agnese Bifulco)

Images courtesy of A studio, photos by © Aaron & Rex

Project name: Shanghai Jiuguang Center
Client: Lifestyle China Group Limited
Location: Jing’An, Shanghai, China
Date: 2014 – 2021

Building area:
GFA Shopping Center: Approx. 120,000 m2
Retail design area: 50,000 m2
Design area office: approx. 18,290 m2
Program: Courtyard facade, Retail interior, Office interior, Courtyard landscape
Status: Completed

Architect: A studio,
The UNStudio team:
Ben van Berkel, Astrid Piber, Hannes Pfau with Ger Gijzen, Marc Salemink, Sontaya Bluangtook and Daniele de Benedictis, Dongbo Han, Enrique Lopez, Lars van Hoften, Tiia Vahula, Martin Zangerl, Mo Lai, Ningzhu Wang, Shuang Zhang, Marta Piaseczynska , Chao Liu, Cristina Bolis, Tom Wong, Yang Li

Local architect: TJAD
Facade consultant: Schmidlin
Lighting design: Bartenbach

Photograph: © Aaron & Rex

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