Shanghai Windows Project 2015

Fashion and Architecture met again this spring, when RIBA Architects took over the retail windows in Shanghai’s most famous shopping plaza and showcased their talents during Shanghai Fashion Week for the RIBA Shanghai Windows Project 2015.

The RIBA Shanghai Windows Project is in back for 2015. The project partners RIBA architects with both International and upcoming Chinese fashion brands located in Xintiandi - a premier fashion, art and shopping destination in Shanghai - to create a huge public architecture exhibition.

The Architects work closely with their retail partner to interpret and represent the brand in the form of a physical architectural installation. The project gives Architects an opportunity to demonstrate their skills to a design-savvy Chinese audience and helping to demonstrate why British architects are renowned around the world for their creativity, ambition and flair.

Please download the full press release for more information.



CTHM and Atelier I-N-D-J with Fountain

Energy pervades the installation, spilling delicate ethereal strands from the restaurants upper storey towards ‘Fountains’ namesake set within the courtyard below. 40,000m of translucent cord refract and reflect light giving a shimmering impression of water.

Xintiandi’s ‘Fountain of Blessings’ and its DNA are entwined with that of the restaurant - it’s three figures: traditional Chinese folklore characters: FuLuShou; are representative of Fortune, Prosperity and Longevity - this deeply embedded cultural meaning parallels with the nature of the restaurant and the energy imbued in the installation. With the support of BuroHappold Engineering and the lighting department at WSP.



Mobile Studio with XTD Giftique

Mobile Studio’s window installation for Giftique is in conjunction with the spring launch of an elegant new Green Tea. The design draws upon the meteorological qualities of the season. Shop windows and interior spaces are filled with delicate interwoven Perspex sheets of different translucencies and hues, using Mobile Studio’s signature modular approach.



Amin Taha Architects with Rubis Spa

Rubis Spa are a Swiss and China based institute offering whole body water immersive, massage and facial treatments using Swiss spring water and products developed at their Zurich headquarters. The spa within Shanghai’s Xintiandi Development is located on the first floor podium of a self-contained office complex. Already expressed as a travertine clad vessel, Amin Taha Architects have flooded the podium lobby to chest height, capturing the blue mountain lakes of Switzerland where Rubis SPA was born. Pathways echoing the journey of Yu Garden’s zig zag bridge break and lengthen the journey through while maintaining the visual mass of the water body.



Draisci Studio with Bacodes 

Framing the eyes transforms every face into a portrait. In line with the playful fashionable approach of the Bacodes eyewear brand, Draisci Studio team have designed faceted blocks that smile and seem to come alive with eyewear on. The blocks will be assembled to create a new temporary facade for the BACODES shop in Xintiandi in Shanghai. The eccentric installation will invade the space surrounding the shop, diffusing the vivid energy of colours, contagiously spreading a joyful mood and happy feelings, sense of surprise and wonder.



RCKa with Tayohya

RCKa’s experiential installation for Tayohya is ingeniously made of woven vinyl material from a range of placemats and bags sold in-store. The design of #LiveLifeInColour entails a bold colour changing effect which becomes visible as you move through the Mall’s central atrium at upper and lower levels.

The effect close-up is similarly optically bold, as thin planes of colour shift in front and behind each other, leading you around the installation until ultimately you are drawn into the heart of the space, which is entered by pushing through the heavy vinyl ribbons until you are enveloped in colour.

Featuring four colours from Tayohya's Spring 2015 palette, #LiveLifeInColour will entice both children and adults to engage in playful exploration.



Opensystems with NN

OPENSYSTEMS lands its first project in China as a collaboration with NN, a fashion retailer in Xintiandi Style, Shanghai. Founded by young entrepreneur Mr. Alexander Chu, NN opened its first store in Shanghai in 2010 and it soon became the reference point for a niche and in the know clientele. The boutique boasts over 300 square meters of researched and innovative ideas. OPENSYSTEMS exclusively designed DICE, a sculptural installation to mark the entrance of the store. The piece takes inspiration from the contemporary flair of the fashion labels on display and it resembles the form a primitive crystalline formation: the prismatic dodecahedra that compose the sculpture is inspired by the geometry that can can be found in natural crystals and rocks. Following the success of the stores and his passion for fashion design, Mr.Chu awards scholarships to young Chinese designers to study in some of the most renowned shools in the UK such as Central St.Martin and Royal College of Fashion. In this context, DICE represents an exciting synergy of architecture and fashion design between China and the UK.



Urban Systems & PH7

'Urban Nature' by Urban Systems has been designed to visualise the dynamic and fluid nature of our urban environments. Similar to our understanding of the contemporary city as a living, growing and evolving ecology, it is shaped by the flows of human culture and interaction. Responding to PH7's design ethos inspired by the forces of nature, we have designed a structure that is sculpted by the circulation and views around the entrance of the store at its particular location at the Xintiandi Style mall. Referencing material systems in nature, our installation applies a cellular interpretation of architecture -varying its structural and visual performance depending on the local conditions within its environment. The installation is fabricated using low-cost and 3D-printing technologies, using a bio-degradable plastic made from renewable resources. The two colours are achieved by using a clear thermoplastic and a version with natural bamboo fibres mixed in the material.  The installation is digitally designed to achieve its internal variations through a small number of families of different components, limiting the number of customised pieces and reducing the complexity of the assembly process. It is a kit of parts that tests new principles of design and fabrication, conceived as a 1:1 formation of intricate visual quality or as a microcosm of our architectural world.


pizza express

Arup Associates with Pizza Express

The installation celebrates the art of pizza making - the motion of stretching the pizza dough. In sync with Pizza Express's 50th Anniversary, the colourful string installation brings a celebratory feeling to the shopfront and invites diners to dine outdoor.


maria lusia 

Squire and Partners with Maria Luisa

Three bespoke, locally, hand-carved marble figures, each adorned with a crafted glass headpiece, will be positioned in the lane outside the store.  The distorted form of the sculptures has been inspired by the artistic process of creation and decay, and represent both the timeless beauty of art and the changing nature of fashion. The figures, which appear rising up from a solid marble base, strike identical poses facing the same direction – a nod to the Terracotta Warriors buried with Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of China, to protect him in the afterlife - and are dressed in a simple garment.

The highly crafted glass headpieces are seen as couture pieces which can be changed over time, with the first iteration alluding to the Chinese Year of the Ram with delicately sculpted curling horns.  These bespoke elements continue Maria Luisa’s tradition for discovering and collaborating with new talent, expanding this to local Chinese artists and craftspeople.