As part of an ongoing collaboration with HARMAY, AIM Architecture have taken a community-focused approach to a new store typology in this latest project by interpreting the spirit and openness of traditional Shanghai alley life.
Opening up the entirety of the ground floor to the public, the corner of the building becomes a place for the community, which is an eclectic mix of long time locals and a recent influx of vibrant young tourists.
Taking a sustainable approach to reuse, the new concept for the building celebrates its architectural past while introducing new layers of diverse program and a new public plaza that enables space for street vendors to engage with the community vibe.
As an existing building, the original fabric did not comply with local building and fire codes. As such the four floors are connected with a closed central staircase. With a scissor movement, the neutral stainless steel stair guides visitors on a journey through the building and its different layers – from street to interior, public to private, existing to new.
The second floor of the building features a range of different finishes indicating the floorplan of a typical lane house. The different living spaces extend to the outdoor alley, with private bedrooms mixing together with public kitchens and corner candy stores. The wooden display cases make use of the depth of the former window wall openings.
By contrast, the third floor presents a more neutral finish with the use of typical lane house tile. Visual interest comes from views to the outside and the lively streetscape.
The fourth and final floor is an eclectic mix of program influenced by typical Shanghai add-on rooftop structures, where storage, social spaces and green allotments terraces merge to create the rooftop hangouts the city is known for.