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Lane 189


An urban mall conceived as a vertical public square.

Lane 189 is an urban mall designed by UNStudio and located in the Puto district in Shanghai. The architecture firm questioned the typical form of an urban mall and developed a building conceived as a vertical public square. To this end, they placed particular focus on the façade, searching for the best solution to connect the interior with the exterior to reveal the functions inside, and on the interior design.

The facade, with its geometrical and distinct pattern, is a relevant element to raise the building's identity and works as as set of urban eyes presenting the interior program to the outside, while creating a large display platform for products and providing balconies with views of the surrounding area. In the interior, the central void cuts through the volume from bottom to top. It is punctuated by a series of rounded plateaus which, when viewed from the bottom, appear as a cohesive layered organic structure, which however are revealed in more depth when looking down from above.

Ben Van Berkel, commenting on the building, said: "The concept for Lane 189 was based on a direct response to urban Shanghai today and the wonderful fragmentation of impressions that you experience there. We wanted to imbed this in the building by creating an urban interior with the feel of a vertical public square. But in order to continue these ideas throughout, it was also essential to connect the interior with the outside and conceptually reflect these impressions in the design of the facade."

The short film shows many aspects of the building's appearance. At first the general overviews highlight relationships with the surroundings, then the camera approaches the building and focuses on elements of the façade and its peculiar pattern. Details of the interiors follow until the camera exits the building and reveals its night appearance. The night overview shows the changing aspects of the light façades.

(Story by Paola Ricco, The Architecture Player)

Authors icon Credits

Architect: UNStudio
Mentioned project: Lane 189 (2013-2017)
Project location: Shanghai, China

China 2017
Duration: 2'03''