Dutch architectural firm UNStudio has designed contemporary shopping centre Lane 189 in Shanghai with a facade that references traditional patterned screens that front old properties in the city.
Tessellating diamonds create an intricate grid of solid and void across the centre’s facade of the seven-storey building in the Putuo district, writes Dezeen. The area has a diverse mix of old and new buildings, which UNStudio references in it facade design.
Diamond-shaped, aluminium-coated panels of various sizes follow a hexagonal grid. They are organised in a seemingly random pattern to create a surface that is partially opaque and partially see-through.
“The design incorporates elements of ‘old Shanghai’ through geometry, pattern and materialisation, and combines these with a contemporary urban experience,” says the design team.
To exaggerate the contrast between solid and void, RGB lighting is installed behind the panels to create a variety of visual effects at different times of day, or for special occasions.
Lane 189 is fairly organic in shape with most of its surfaces curved. Its large windows feature heavily rounded edges. One particular window wraps around the corner of the building, and is sunken far back from the facade. UNStudio describes it as one of the building’s “urban eyes”, which simultaneously create large display platforms for products while providing balconies.
Inside, the building has a mix of shops, restaurants and office spaces, interspersed with kiosks. These are on curved floor-plates organised around an atrium, lit naturally via a generous skylight.
Architect Ben Van Berkel founded UNStudio in Amsterdam in 1988 with partner Caroline Bos. It has had several projects in China, including a shopping centre in Wuhan covered in silver balls.
Texts and images: Dezeen.