photographer: Shen Zhonghai
The new Design Republic's Design Collective is located in the outskirt of Shanghai in a town called Qingpu. Neri&Hu inherited an existing building and was given the task to completely redesign both the exterior and the interior without demolishing the existing structure. Neri&Hu’s concept was to cover the existing building to create a new exterior identity and simultaneously fabricate an introverted spatial platform to create a new identity for the Design Republic's Design Collective, a group of avant garde furniture retail initiative in the city.
The existing building has been completely covered with an opaque graphic wrapper made with carbon fiber panel to create an introverted spatial condition to showcase furniture both visually and experientially.
The main entry is characterized by a large steel funnel, serving as a transition element from the urban context to the exhibition space. The shape of the entry tube also serves as a means of emphasizing the arrival into the 3 story exhibition hall where the visitors introverted journey begins.
The staircase wrapping the interior of the main exhibition space leads the visitor throughout the multiple levels of display where the furniture can be experienced from varying spatial relationship and viewed from different vantage points and voyeuristic snippets of retail display. This journey is accentuated as the visitor climbs higher through the gallery levels by the seven large openings in the roof which serve to allow daylight into the exhibition space while at once generating a moment of visual release from within the introverted exhibition environment.
About Design Republic
Design Republic stands for a new birth of life and style. At its foundation, it is a republic of life - life that creates meaning and understanding through its relationship to objects of habitation. Seeking to explore the relationship between people and the simple objects they use in life - a plate, a teacup, a chair; it is here where we discover the beauty of everyday life.
Design Republic is also a republic of style - style that creates new ideologies in design, retail, and merchandising concepts embodying a distinctive aesthetic for contemporary China. It crosses traditional boundaries to merge old and new, traditional and modern, opulent and austere, to ultimately create a dynamic platform of design.
Design Republic Qingpu store is located on the first floor, with a total area of 2,000 sqm. Design Republic offers a unique collection of products created by the world's best design talents collaborates with many designers both foreign and local to create products that will explore a new modern Chinese aesthetic.
Design team: Lyndon Neri & Rossana Hu (principals-in-charge)
Architecture and Interior:
Dirk Weiblen (senior associate)
Federico Saralvo (architectural designer)
Aleksandra Duka (architectural designer)
Stephanie Chu (architectural designer)
Christine Neri (associate)
Evelyn Chiu (graphic designer)
Project partners: Architectural – Exterior Canopy, Doors, Detail Trimwork:
Exterior façade: printed canvas laminated on boards
Main entrance: steel, powder coated black
Doors: steel, powder coated black
Architectural – Flooring:
Main entrance: steel flooring
Communal space: self-levelling screed with white epoxy coating
Staircase: solid walnut planks
Architectural – Walls & Ceilings:
gypsum boards, painted white
Decorative Lighting, Specified
Communal space: MOOOI Random lights, various sizes
Graphics – Visual Identity & Stationary
Neri & Hu Graphic Department