Gradient along the street, Q-factor store, Shanghai
Q - factor买手店位于上海市静安区襄阳北路34弄1号，项目沿街立面属于一幢砖红色历史保护建筑的一部分。
The Q-factor store is located at No. 1, Lane 34, Xiangyang North Road, Jing'an District, Shanghai. The facade of the project along the street is part of a historically protected red-brick building.
In consideration to protect this historic building, we were cautious when thinking about the facade and the interior planning of the project. There are a few considerations to think about. First, the architect’s goal is to protect the historic building while providing design updates to the current store facade. Second, to provide an interesting space with the limitation that the walls, floors, doors and windows on the second floor cannot be altered.
The street facade of Shanghai Lilong residential buildings often has a unique form of expression and distinctive proportion of windows and walls. As time goes by, the bottom floor of the street gradually turned into commerce stores. The previous store used a large-area glass opening which reduced the unique atmosphere of Shanghai streets.
We intend to continue and update the current design with the concept of "pixel gradient”, where new brick is re-integrated with the street itself. The location of the shop serves as the middle connection between the building and the entrance of the north alley, with gradual changes from the left to the right.
We updated the outer wall with bricks, each with a width of 380mm, a height of 150mm, and a thickness of 28mm. We considered how we can protect the original block wall, and decided to use a cable structure to provide reinforcement. We also fixed the facade of bricks to cables so that it is separated from the block wall to prevent any damage. Visually, the newly added red bricks along with the grey bricks provide a continuation of the original red wall and the grey dado.
The first floor is used as a pop-up exhibition space for the store facing the street, with an overall area of 30 square meters. Faced with such limitation in space, there are two questions: one is to reserve enough space for future pop-up events; the other is that the space cannot look empty when there is no exhibition.
We designed nine small honeycomb cardboard units, of which nine honeycomb cardboards of 300mm*300mm*50mm are glued up and down to form a unit. Just like "building blocks", small units can be combined up, down, left and right into different forms to adapt to the changes required by the exhibition theme. When the space is vacant, it can also form a matrix to fill the space and become a display stand.
The overall area of the second floor is close to 100 square meters, accessible via a stair, it is designed to include the store area, fitting room, toilet and storage room. In addition to product exhibition and sales requirements, the store space also needs to adapt to various scenarios. Due to the limitation of not being able to alter the original wall, ceiling, floor, doors and windows, we designed a retractable wooden structure to meet the display function and space variability requirements.
We designed two sets of foldable sliding wooden unit to encompass the larger and smaller space on the second floor respectively. In the larger space, the width between the columns of the wooden unit is 2.5m, with a total of six pillars. In the smaller space, the width between the columns is 1.8m, with a total of four pillars. Each unit has a maximum span of 1.2m and it can be expanded or retracted depending on the need. We also used removable wooden poles and cables to connect the columns, which can also function as a hanger. This modular design offers flexibility, and depending on the needs, the combination of wooden poles and cables can be changed to provide a diverse range of spatial topology.
There are two reasons for choosing the ash wood in the design: one is to provide a warm and intimate feeling; the other is that we hope that the material can be reused sustainably in the future.
In the pop-up space on the first floor, due to the height difference of the original roof, we made a transition through the curved roof to provide continuity of the space.
When entering the staircase space from the first floor to the second floor, we faced the problem of a narrow entrance caused by the height difference, as a solution, we raised the ground to fill the height difference of one stair step, and increase the width of the entrance space as much as possible.
In the space, the blocks made of honeycomb cardboard become the exhibition stand, tea table and checkout counter. Compared with building materials, honeycomb cardboard is lighter, which is beneficial to combination changes.