The INLET Block 2 is a contemporary retail insertion located along North Sichuan Road in Hongkou District, Shanghai. The intentionally simple form of this three-storey retail building draws inspirations from the peculiarities of the site, designed to reflect and accentuate the site’s rich heritage.
Acting as a prelude to the new large development on Hongkou Lot 18 – LifeHub @ Bund Central, consisting offices, a mall, street retail and museums distributed across new and old buildings, Block 2 is part of a comprehensive masterplan that weaves together history, culture and retail experience.
Regenerating the continuous street elevation of North Sichuan Road, the building’s main elevation adopts the rhythm of party walls from adjacent shophouses, with two-storey terracotta fin-walls lining the transparent main façade. At night, the solidity of these fin-walls is dissolved by warm glows of light, emitted through the groove-lines.
The resulting architecture of Block 2 is an Urban Portal transcending time and space. The building, which stands in respectful dialogue with its site and context, invites visitors to freely construct their unique social and retail experiences; thereby, creating interesting spatial and experiential possibilities. This design puts forward a proposition on how architectural space, more than the object, take precedence when planning for urban interventions within a historically rich context.
DP Architects, DP Green