Xintiandi Installation by UNStudio

Shanghai's new gateway transforms from wall to ceiling and back to wall in one swooping gesture, Photo Seth Powers.

The passersby of Shanghai have acquired a temporary spectacle – the Xintiandi Installation. Designed by UNStudio, it mirrors and warps the daily interactions of the encompassing street life of Madang Road. Spanning 30 metres in length, a twisting metal framework is clad with a polished stainless steel on one surface and a painted aluminum alloy on the other. Acting as a gateway to the Xintiandi retail mall, the construct explores the cultural relationships between the city’s occupants and urban hardscape through reflection.

Transforming from wall to ceiling and back to wall in one swooping gesture, the structure mesmerises passersby with the contorted reflections as they stroll through the coiled space. Envisioned as a time-lapsed sequence, the catwalk captures reflections of the retail, ground and urban landscape with two mirrors at the beginning and end of the path.

Architect Ben van Berkel described the installation as being ‘related to the culture of consuming, not with respect only to shopping, but to consuming images: images of our surroundings, of our city, of the buildings and the people around us and, of course, of ourselves.’

Photos Seth Powers, courtesy of UNStudio

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