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Freshigh by dongqi Architects, Shanghai - China

The FRESHIGH designed by dongqi Architects is located on South Shaanxi road, in the center of Shanghai. The primary task in this project is to renovate the retail store into an appealing space to attract more customers and let it merge into the surroundings. At the end, it was turned into a refreshing space with soft green color filled all around. Hiding in the old neighborhood, the designer hopes that it could give a surprise to the people passing by. They could stop and relax for a cup of fresh juice, and then go back to daily life.

Designed by dongqi Architects

Project team: JIANG Nan, XIE Peng

Photography by Raitt Liu

One of the main design elements is the stainless steel sheet, which is sprayed with cautiously selected green. Laser-cutting the pattern out as well as the connections and bending the sheet into specific shape in the factory helped minimize the work at the site. The gradient pattern generated via computer programming gives this tough material a soft feeling and textile texture. The contrast between the curvature and the toughness of the material is strong, eye-catching, and fascinating. They are bent into semi-cylinders and put abreast. Therefore, the dynamic movement of the pattern and the sense of order give an interesting balance in the space and help create an artsy atmosphere.

Functionally, these semi-cylinders act like covers of the ventilator and the fan of the air conditioner. At the same time, they are great containers for fruit. The cutouts ensure the air circulation for fruit to make sure they are fresh. Furthermore, these containers are hanged above the bar and could let the customers have a better sense of raw material visually.

A surface of mirrored-stainless steel is attached on the other side of the semi-cylinder containers along the side of bar. The reflective material generates a mass of dreamlike shadows on the white tile floor. It enhances the richness of the space and adds another layer of light for the entire shop. The play of light and material by the designer eventually brings out the brilliance of conceptual design of the store. The wall and ceiling are made of white tile and specially treated stainless steel.

The façade is also made with same laser-cut steel sheet. The proportion of the steel sheet is carefully designed to have a dialogue with the semi-cylinders inside. Meanwhile, throughout the cutouts we could see some subtle green parts and it create a contrast with the interior. A big-folding door is used to open up the indoor space as much as possible to connect the street with the indoor space. Next to the door, the pick-up window is wide and flipped up to give customers a visual and aromatic experience while the skilled staff is preparing juice for the customers.

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