SHANGHAI – Within the bustling metropolitan area, Hamburg-based architecture firm gmp Architeckten has unravelled a large commercial project, SOHO Fuxing Lu in Shanghai, China. The large-scale project makes an imprint in the country’s largest city by occupying an entire block. From afar, the design stands out with its collective massing, adapting itself to the urban morphology, which tends to be narrow and intimate. The extensive urban quarter consists of restaurants, shops and offices, aiming to attract and cultivate young start-up companies.
The various structures exemplify a futuristic compound atmosphere, with replicated clean cut edges and modern architecture. The organised cluster of buildings consist of nine oblong structures with sloping roofs and an east-west orientation for controlled sun exposure. There is a high-rise building amongst the array, intending to provide a more prominent reference to the urban landscape. The design carries a repetitive identity on a vast area of land, with façades and roofs clad with natural stone strips varying in width. The choice of material disembodies the design from its surrounding context, making it visually invigorating. The interior circulation is made up of a network of pathways and alleys that converge to a central square where the restaurants are located. A portal opening to the basement allows users to further explore commercial facilities and have easy access to the railway, providing convenient public transport. With the intended design, the architects have displayed originality, pushing forward prevailing architecture while still incorporating the rooted traditions of Shanghai’s landscape.