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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

OCT Suhe Creek Urban Renovation Showroom in Shanghai, China by Kokaistudios

 
October 25th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Kokaistudios

At beginning of 2011, Kokaistudios was invited by one of the leading developers in China, OCT Shanghai Land, to lead a thorough restoration and renovation project of a historically significant warehouse on the North side of Suzhou Creek in Shanghai. The warehouse; the early 20th Century Ewo Packing Factory warehouse building; is the first building to open in the new large scale OCT urban re-development project SUHE CREEK designed by Foster+Partners and where the 4th Bvlgari Hotel will be located. The building now serves initially as the Project Showroom, Sales Center and VIP Reception Venue as well as housing the studios for two of China’s most prominent contemporary artists, Yan Peiming and Liu Xiaodong. It will be part of the riverside commercial space where international brands will be located in the future.

Image Courtesy Charlie Xia, Suhe Creek

  • Architects: Kokaistudios
  • Project: OCT Suhe Creek Urban Renovation Showroom
  • Location: Shanghai, China
  • Designed by: Kokaistudios
  • Architecture: Andrea Destefanis, Li Wei, Peyron Pietro, Annsy Chen, Zou Chenqing, Yao Yun
  • Interior: Andrea Destefanis, Maggie Wang, Jason Huang
  • Client: OCT Land (Shanghai) Investment Ltd.
  • Area: 1,600 sqm
  • Completion: August, 2012
  • Photographer: Charlie Xia, Suhe Creek

Image Courtesy Charlie Xia, Suhe Creek

The accurate survey of the building provided the necessary insight of all the elements contributing to the building’s original character and their different state of conservation. The original structure, for instance, cast iron and wooden pillars, with wood slabs and trusses, proved in good condition and worth preserving. The upper two floors of the original brick façade, characterized by  their sober decorations and moldings, also emerged in good conditions under the thick ‘skin’ of plaster and paint applied in layers during  previous interventions. Irreversibly damaged and lost, instead, was the ground floor, where the original portals and windows were ravaged in the recent decades, when the building was converted and used as a supermarket.

Image Courtesy Charlie Xia, Suhe Creek

This loss offered the opportunity for a more contemporary intervention: the original sequence of openings was reestablished using new materials; aluminum framed double glazed windows, a language clearly non mimetic so as to bring the building to its original integrity without altering the clear distinction between original pre-existing design and the new Kokaistudios design.

Image Courtesy Charlie Xia, Suhe Creek

The principle to clearly define new and old elements in a project carries as well into the interior spaces where renovated original elements meld harmoniously with new features and materials; complementing each other in a clearly distinguishable way. In keeping with Kokaistudios previous award winning renovation projects; all efforts were taken to ensure that the implementation of all necessary M&E systems required to meet modern uses and codes was done with the dual focus of limiting any impact on the original structure and decorations and also to minimize the visual impact.

Image Courtesy Charlie Xia, Suhe Creek

The client requirement for different areas to meet various functional needs as well as to plan for a future use with other tenants drove Kokai to create a largely open plan design that valorizes the heritage and original beauty of the building.

Image Courtesy Charlie Xia, Suhe Creek

The finished building strikes a balance between respectful renovation and the needs of the developer and it acts as the flagship for the new SUHE CREEK project; an exceptional multi-use development that will contain retail, residential, commercial, hotel and leisure components. The building stands as a symbol of the re-development of this historical district of Shanghai; and a re-affirmation of Kokaistudios’ belief that historical buildings play a critical role in the urban fabric of great cities.

Image Courtesy Charlie Xia, Suhe Creek

Conveniently located only 10 minutes from the Bund and Xintiandi areas, the SUHE CREEK development area is poised to become a major new destination in Shanghai brining new vitality and energy to the historical downtown district.

Image Courtesy Charlie Xia, Suhe Creek

tesy Charlie Xia, Suhe Creek

Image Courtesy Charlie Xia, Suhe Creek

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Categories: Showroom, Urban Design

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