Created primarily with tourists in mind, the red carpet guides visitors on an experiential journey. All but circumnavigating the mall, it offers impressive views across adjacent landmarks. The high-profile escalators reinstate the original circulatory intention of the building, particularly with regard to its diagonal axis.
The eye-catching red escalators also see the mall’s role expand to that of tourist attraction, re-establishing it as a public space for enjoying all facets of Shanghai life - not just shopping.
In addition to softening the perimeter of the formerly enclosed mall, and physically reconnecting the architecture to its environs, the intervention repositions the mall’s focal point to its upper levels. Where previously access to the mall’s core was exclusively via its ground floor flagship stores, Kokaistudios’ solution transports visitors directly to its re-centred and newly opened-up third-floor foyer, bringing both energy and movement to the facility’s formerly under-visited upper levels.
Positioning the mall as a lifestyle destination that extends beyond retail was also key to attracting a second target demographic: Shanghai residents – imagined here as ‘audience’. As part of this, the renovated mall now features several high-end restaurants and bars on its fifth and sixth floors.
“With these destinations in mind, we created a new street-level entrance that opens onto an attractive atrium,” Destefanis says.
“Flanked with vertical wooden boards, seemingly extending the entirety of the mall’s height, and interspersed with LED columns, it lends light, openness, and drama to what was previously an under-optimised space.”
From here, banks of elevators take diners directly