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An homage to heritage and natural textiles in Shanghai’s Columbia Circle

by Michael Yates on Mar 23, 2020 in Architecture , Top Story
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Serial award winning architects Neri&Hu's latest project in the OMA-designed Columbia Circle development in Shanghai is another show-stopper. This time it's a flagship store for Jisifang, a new multi-brand retailer, specializing in garments and accessories made from the highest quality silks, wools, cottons and linens. The striking interior design for the shop is an homage to these natural textiles, their visceral touch and textural richness.

Located along Yan'an West Road, Columbia Circle is an historically important site, including preserved colonial monuments and former industrial buildings. It derives its name from the Columbia Country Club, built in the 1920s during Shanghai's grand epoch. The Jisifang store also pays tribute to this heritage, featuring an historic aggregate concrete façade wall, as well as reclaimed brickwork for the floors.

For the façade and entry, Neri&Hu's strategy was to enhance the architectural elements already in existence with additional subtle layers. To balance the coldness of the steel structure and metal canopy above, a wooden deck was added to the ground for a hint of warmth, as well as to give a stronger street presence to the shop. Upon entering, one is immersed in a constellation of suspended cylindrical enclosures. Hung from a circular wooden ring, the textile drapery provides a backdrop to the shelves of garments within, while shielding the visitor from any visual clutter.

The Shanghai-based interdisciplinary architectural design practice has become something of a fixture at the respected A&D Awards, last year winning two best-of-category Titanium Awards for its stylish Aranya Art Center in the port city of Qinhuangdao, and the Junshan Culture Center in Beijing. For more insights into its award-winning designs, click here

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