An old shipyard has been transformed but not entirely beyond recognition. Celebrating the Shanghai space’s rich and important history, Kengo Kuma has modified the space so that its past can be recognised but also so it has a new and functional use in the twenty-first century.
Kengo Kuma has transformed an old shipyard in Shanghai’s Lujiazui financial district in Pudong into a new multi-use complex. The 1972 building featured large interior spaces for holding ships, which has now been converted into a 9,000 square meter mixed-use complex, named “Shipyard 1862.”
During the massive refurbishment project, Kuma has preserved the structural and material integrity of the building. On the West façade, large clay bricks in different shades of red are suspended by eight millimeter steel cables creating a pixelated gradient brick system, which recalls the old structure in a contemporary way. The architect says: “materiality transcends beyond the visual experience, as it requires all five senses of the human body to engage it, to remember it.”
Void spaces inside the building highlight its monumentality and verticality. An 800-seat theater in the east wing frames panoramic views of the Puxi skyline. The West wing houses commercial spaces. A five-story east-west atrium links two smaller north-south atriums, acting as connectors between the city and the Huangpu Riverfront, noted ArchDaily.