UNStudio’s gateway installation for the Xintiandi Style Retail Mall in Shanghai revolves and inverts around visitors, translating them and the surrounding sidewalk into a sequence of distorted reflections. The project aims to address the culture of consuming, related to both material goods and images of the cityscape. The archway was built for the RIBA Shanghai Windows Project 2014 and frames the entrance to the Xintiandi Style Retail Mall in Shanghai.
The installation is comprised of a single half-twisted ribbon that creates an archway which reflects pedestrians walking into the Xintiandi Mall. The 30 meter long structure uses a single architectural gesture that changes its function from wall to ceiling, and back to becoming a wall. Large scale mirrors are mounted onto a metal structure and create a lapse reflective effect of jagged moving images. Each of the mirrors acts as a concentration point, which creates the lapse effect and allows for it to interact with passers-by.
As pedestrians walk along the structure, a reflection revolves and inverts around them, creating an alternative version of their movement. It inspires those adjacent to it to observe their environment in a new way and explores the relationship between urban landscapes and their occupants.