Some may question why a city like Shanghai – which only began its large-scale urbanization in the 1990s and is still undergoing rapid growth – needs to be concerned about regeneration.

Client: Sandhill
Location: No.758 Xizang North Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai, China
GFA: 10,000 sqm
Completion: 2019
Design scope: Interior Design & Façade Design
Design Principals: Wendy Saunders & Vincent de Graaf
Project Architect: Vincent Zhou, Javier Paz Taibo
Project Manager: Lisa Ngan
Design Team: Jiao Yan, Jin Kang, Shirley Woo, Sophia Wang
FF&E Team: Sowon Lee, Baoer Wang
Consultants: ShangHai Full Arts Curtain Wall Engineering Co. Ltd.
Shanghai Tongji Kaiyuan Architecture Design Co.,Ltd.
Photography: Dirk Weiblen

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©Dirk Weiblen

But it is the tool that cities use to challenge their deficiencies, correct their missteps, and remake themselves. Beyond this, as any city grows, its needs to – like any living thing – necessarily change. It is a constant process.

AIM’s projects usually start from within, also here, where we created a hybrid work landscape with shared functions and a commercial ground floor that adds amenities to work landscape.

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©Dirk Weiblen
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©Dirk Weiblen

But in this case, very quickly the focus moves to the outside. How should this building interact with its surroundings? Can this building stand out in a sea of sameness? And can the façade contribute to its interior environment so it’s not just a cosmetic intervention?

Located on a fast pace busy road we wanted to make use of this movement by making a façade that changes depending on what side you are approaching it from. A zigzag façade with different glass colors and different transparencies changes the image of the building when you pass by. Approached from the north, the building is very transparent, and while you drive past, the façade starts to ‘close’ as you see the metallic copper printed glass more or vice versa.

Adding a second skin to the building, allowed us to renovate with some of the existing tenants in. It greatly reduces the roads noise impact, and with the zigzag-shaped façade, we can reduce sun impact and heat gain from the south, while offering clear views towards the north.

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©Dirk Weiblen

A bonus is the play of glass and trees through reflection. We printed the typical Shanghai platane leaves on the south-facing glass, creating a blend of trees, glass and sky multiplied through this faceted façade. All coming together as a façade that moves as you move.

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