Shimao Festival City: Beyond Shopping Mall, Reconnecting Back to the City
After winning global acclaim for both K11 in Shanghai, as well as Beijing's COFCO Plaza, Kokaistudios once again brings its expertise in shopping mall renovation to China’s increasingly lifestyle-driven retail scene. The firm's recent renovation of Shimao Festival City in Shanghai illustrates this contemporary crossroads, and demonstrates how by expanding malls’ functionality and reconsidering circulation, these sizeable structures can be reabsorbed by the city as useful public spaces of engagement and exchange.
bird view 鸟瞰图
Built in 2006, Shimao Festival City is a modern monument of Shanghai. Comprising retail, hotel and office space, it is located at the top of Shanghai’s famous East Nanjing Road shopping street, with views across nearby People’s Square. But despite its prime location the mall had fast become overlooked by residents in favor of venues more clearly aligned with their contemporary city lifestyle.
Kokaistudios was tasked with upgrading the pre-existing retail component of Shimao Festival City. By reconfiguring circulation both inside and outside the facility, identifying clear pathways according to visitor type, and creating openness and space, since renovations concluded in November 2018, the mall has helped reinvigorate a prime corner of Shanghai real estate. In doing so, it has placed the mall firmly on the radar of both residents as well as tourists, reconnecting it to the city.
5th floor plan 五层平面图
Kokaistudios’ design concept is a theater and the renovation centers on visitor flow of three "roles" of users: tourists, audience and actors, with areas of the mall imagined as the foyer, auditorium, and backstage of a theater. Starting from outside, an external ‘red carpet’ guides visitors along a sky escalator extending from Nanjing Dong Lu to a third-floor balcony and podium entrance space. From here, visitors may access a second external escalator, taking them to another covered balcony on the fifth floor.
5th floor entrance 五层入口
Tourists: Created primarily with tourists in mind, the red carpet guides visitors on an experiential journey. Effectively circumnavigating the mall proper, the "red carpet" offers impressive views across East Nanjing Road and People’s Square; they reinstate an original intention of the architecture itself, particularly with regard to its diagonal axis. It also sees the mall’s functionality expand to that of tourist attraction, reestablishing Shimao Festival City as a public space for enjoying all facets of Shanghai life - not just shopping.
3rd floor balcony and entrance 三层平台及入口
phase 2 core tube corridor 二期核心筒走道
phase 2 gathering space 二期公共空间
In addition to softening the perimeter of the formerly enclosed mall, and physically reconnecting the architecture to its environs, the intervention repositions the mall’s focal point to its upper levels. Where previously access to the mall's core was exclusively via its ground floor flagship stores, Kokaistudios’ solution transports visitors directly to its re-centred and newly opened-up third-floor ‘foyer’, bringing energy and movement to the facility’s formerly under-visited upper levels.
phase 2 atrium 二期中庭