Project Name : Shanghai Shimao City Renovation
Site : Shanghai, China
Construction Company : Kokaistudios
Image Courtesy : Wu Qingshan
Kokai Studios Architects
After winning international K11 fame in Shanghai, as well as Beijing’s COFCO Plaza, Kokaistudios has also brought its expertise to the renovation of retail stores in the Chinese region that continues to be a business driven by lifestyle. The recent renovation of the Shimao Festival City factory in Shanghai reflects this modern-day road, and shows that by increasing the performance of supermarkets and processing the distribution, these large buildings can be reintroduced into the city as useful public places for engagement and exchange.
Built in 2006, Shimao Festival City is a modern monument to Shanghai. Comprising of a shopping mall, hotels and offices, it is located at the top of Shanghai’s famous East Nanjing Road, with views across People’s Square. But even though it was in the main area, the shopping center was recently ignored by residents who prefer places that are clearly aligned with their urban lifestyle.
Kokaistudios was given the task of upgrading the existing Shimao Festival City shopping center. By redesigning the broadcast in and out of the center, identifying specific tourist routes, and building openness and space, since renovations were made in November 2018, the mall has helped revitalize Shanghai’s main corner of the property. In doing so, it has firmly established a shopping mall on the radar of both residents and tourists, reconnecting it to the city.
The concept of Kokaistudios’ design is a theater and facilities that revitalize the flow of visitors to the three “roles” of the users: guests, spectators and actors, and the shopping mall is thought to be a foyer, a hall, and the back of the theater. Starting out, the outdoor carpet guides tourists up the stairs from the sky from Nanjing Dong Lu to the third floor balcony and entrance to the platform. From here, guests can enter the second outer stairs, and take them to another covered balcony on the fifth floor.
Visitors: Created primarily with tourists, the red carpet guides visitors on an adventure trip. By successfully circling the mall properly, the “red carpet” offers spectacular views across East Nanjing Road and People’s Square; they restore the original purpose of its own construction, especially in relation to its distinct axis. It also sees the functioning of the shopping mall expanding to attract tourists, reviving Shimao Festival City as a public place to enjoy all aspects of life in Shanghai – not just shopping.
In addition to softening the existing shopping mall boundary, and reconnecting the buildings by building adjoining spaces, the shopping center spaces have risen to its highest levels. Where previously the backbone access was limited to underground stores, the Kokaistudios solution takes visitors directly to the ‘foyer’ of its low-lying and newly opened floor, bringing energy and movement to the site once visited by the center.
Audience: Positioning the mall as a place to live beyond sales was also the key to attracting a second population: Shanghai residents, who are considered here as ‘audiences.’ For this reason, the renovated shopping mall has several high-end restaurants and bars on the fifth and sixth floors. With this in mind, the newly created street level entrance opens up an attractive atrium: surrounded by vertical boards, seemingly extending the entire height of the mall and fitted with LED columns, providing light, openness and drama to what was previously an unsightly space. From here, elevator banks take diners directly to F&B stores, without the need to roam the escalators.
Actors: Some entry into East Nanjing Road offers a third of the population, described by Kokaistudios as ‘actors’ and not considered to be those who work in nearby offices. To facilitate the normal, easy-to-use use of Shimao Festival City, pedestrian steps lead the group straight to the heart of the shops. Viewed as a ‘background’ space, it sets the tone for the industry with gray louver walls, dark polished glass. These items come together to enhance the effectiveness of the purpose and objective, and contrast with the outdoor spaces made for more tourists.
The Kokai studios project demonstrates how renovation can work for cities by replacing obsolete shopping malls with modern living, and future flexibility. In this way, these massive buildings can be turned into a useful center for urban centers. In the case of Shimao Festival City, this interpretation translates into expanding and opening up a previously neglected area in central Shanghai for the benefit, enjoyment and benefit of all.