Revitalising an old building
I have become obsessed with this image. There is just so much to love about it. The architects have breathed life into an existing building by using contemporary materials, techniques and surfaces in sharp contrast with the old.
Like any good infatuation, after staring at it for a while I jumped online to see what I could find out.
Designed by Chinese studio Neri & Hu, the facade is part of the Design Republic Commune in Shanghai. Located in the British-built Police Headquarters, the project was conceived to be “a gathering space for designers and patrons alike to admire, ponder, exchange, learn and consume”.
The red brickwork dating from the 1910s is left in its imperfect glory even with plaster still attached in parts. Windows and a door have in punched out of this wall and a black metal glassed frame inserted to create a sense of depth. Finally, the building is encased in a soft velvet-like render.
Materials, colours and textures clash yet the result is a perfect synthesis of old and new. It was shown to me by Janice Tan of Ridolfi Architecture, with whom I have been working lately.
Here are some more images of the same space.
Photography Pedro Pegenaute