Window shopping in style
Updated: 2015-04-14

In this spring, you have more reasons go window shopping at Shanghai Xintiandi, the city’s major leisure and entertainment landmark.

A strip of shop windows in Xintiandi Style Mall have been transformed into creative public art works by architects and designers from Britain’s Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), together with the mall’s developer, Shui On Land. The event will run until May 31.

Nine retailers in Xintiandi took part in the window project and displayed their merchandise inside these niche art works.

In Regent Street in the West End in London, the annual window project has become an art event where fashion meets architecture. Now, the project in Shanghai is also much anticipated. The architecture and design cross-over have brought up-to-date design concepts to local residents and art fans, producing an engaging creative space for the public.

This is RIBA’s third year in dressing windows in Xintiandi. In 2015, the windows project features new architecture teams from firms experienced in creative retail design, such as Draisci Studio and Squire and Partners, as well as the award-winning RCKa and Mobile Studio Architects.

Carrie Liu, General Manager of Commercial in China Xintiandi said the project will “enhance the unique shopping experience at Shanghai Xintiandi, and create a platform for cross-over communication, further inspiring creative talent in Shanghai.”

Also launched, and running throughout the Xintiandi area, is the Through the Shop Window photography exhibition, which tells the story of the evolution of British shopping trends over the last century.

Shanghai Xintiandi Style Mall
245 Madang Road, Huangpu district

Here are some of the nine art works created by architects who work closely with their retail partner, in an effort to interpret and represent the brand in the form of a physical architectural installation. [Photos provided to]

1. Mobile Studio with XTD Giftique


Mobile Studio’s window installation for Giftique is in conjunction with the spring launch of a 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.

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


Architects from the firm CTHM and Atelier I-N-D-J created a “waterfall” made of 40,000 meters of translucent cord--- in the courtyard of Fountain restaurant. The delicate ethereal strands reflect light giving a shimmering impression of water.

3. Draisci Studio with Bacodes


In line with the Bacodes eyewear brand, Draisci Studio has designed faceted blocks that smiles and seem to come alive with eyewear on. The eccentric installation diffuses vivid energy of colors, spreading a joyful mood and a sense of surprise and wonder.

4. 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 the store. The design entails a bold color changing effect which becomes visible as you move through the Mall’s central atrium at upper and lower levels.
Featuring four colors from Tayohya's 2015 Spring palette, the installation will entice both children and adults to engage in playful exploration.

5. Squire and Partners with Maria Luisa


Three bespoke, locally, hand-carved marble figures, each adorned with a crafted glass headpiece, are 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 represents both timeless beauty of art and the changing nature of fashion. The 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.

6. 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 colorful string installation brings a celebratory feeling to the shop front and invites diners to dine outdoor.

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