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.
The Modular Lilong in Shanghai, China by LUKSTUDIO
August 26th, 2016 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: LUKSTUDIO
The ‘Modular Lilong’ was designed for Value Retail China to showcase ‘Chuang x Yi’; a concept brand that provides a platform for Chinese fashion designers. The 150 sqm site is located in Yioulai Shanghai Village; a sister to Bicester Village in London – both global shopping developments. The intent of ‘Chuang x Yi’ is to create a retail experience specifically related to the context of Shanghai.
The term lilong refers to an urban typology, organized around meandering lanes, which often display creative solutions in response to issues of space shortage. The resulting blur between private and public, residential and commercial gives Shanghai its signature streetscape. Following the design brief to create a backdrop showcasing selective contemporary Chinese designers, Lukstudio re-interpreted the local, urban fabric with 3 ‘lanehouses’ arranged into different display areas; one waiting lounge, two dressing rooms, the main cashier counter and a service area.
The structure of these lanehouses is conceived as a modular kit of parts, so that it can easily be disassembled and re-installed in another shop location if needed.
The pieces are based on architectural features and textures found in a lilong. For example, old stone gates known as, ‘shikumen’ are used as entranceways, with their typical round corners seen in the smooth outline of the display cases. Furthermore, hanging washing lines are turned into copper-coated racks to display clothes, while bamboo rattan; a texture used in vernacular furniture, is applied to the divider screens. Display plinths and racks are positioned along the lane reminiscent of the common scene of scattering benches and stools.
Despite the clear boundary between the stone pavement and the wooden flooring, the open display allows a fluid visual dialogue between the urban lane and the elegantly stacked houses. The retail experience consists of many architectural layers combined into a cohesive structure; offering a sense of pliancy and order that reflects the adaptive nature of lilong life. In this way Lukstudio has generated a journey of discovery, connecting old Shanghai architecture with today’s design world.
LUKSTUDIO is a boutique design practice based in Shanghai, China. Founded by Christina Luk in 2011, the studio is comprised of an international team with diverse backgrounds and cultural perspectives. Lukstudio’s designs are created by bringing happy individuals together to challenge the status quo of the environment.
Each project tells its own story, and Lukstudio is proud to identify a narrative and preserve it from concept to completion, delivering memorable spatial experiences that delight and surprise.
Lukstudio collaborates closely with clients and contractors to deliver artistic solutions within a commercial scope. The team enjoys experimenting with materials, light and shadow to make each project unique, while also extending the boundaries of architecture.
Christina Luk was born and raised in Hong Kong, a dynamic city that helped shape her desire to do creative work from an early age. After graduating from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Architecture, Christina worked in Toronto and obtained her OAA architecture license before relocating to Shanghai, China in 2007.
Having worked on medium to large-size projects as an architect and project manager, Christina has accumulated 10 years of knowledge and experience in a broad range of projects including: urban planning, heritage conservation, mixed-used projects, institutional, gallery exhibition and hospitality interior design. Her strengths lie in articulating the client’s needs and leading her team to fulfill the potential of each project.
Christina founded Lukstudio in Shanghai in 2011, and since then she and her team have created a portfolio that showcases a passion for concepts, materials and crafts manship. In 2016, Christina was recognized as ‘Wave of the Future’ in Hospitality Design Magazine, and awarded ‘40 Under 40’ by Perspective Magazine.