ofThis unusual opportunity began with a vacant, dirt-floored building, teams working in three different languages in three different countries, and a government edict that all construction had to be within 30cm (12 inches) of the existing facade and completed prior to the Shanghai Expo in three months or the client would risk losing their lease.
The client’s needs were to build their largest flagship store to introduce their brand and house their offices. The branding of the store required visibility of location with a windowless space to display products - however, the government prevented exterior lighting or removal of the existing facade glass.
A skin of perforated metal was used to transform and unify the building. A wall of products was constructed and set inboard of the existing glass by several feet to allow access for maintenance while creating a light-box within to backlight the perforated skin. Viewed from a distance, the patterning in the perforated skin creates the appearance of folded fabric, a subtle reference to the building’s use.
A rotating series of mannequins inhabit the main entry. Robotic lighting tracks patron activity and engages them in a dramatic experience. A glass shard cuts through the existing concrete floors, and is animated with mannequins flying vertically on theatrical rigging. This new atrium brings light to the center of the deep floor-plates and clearly demarks the vertical circulation while titillating and sparking patron curiosity.