West courtyard 1F

West courtyard 2F

Maotai road landscape
























ARCH Shanghai is located at the intersection of Moutai Road and Loushanguan. It covers an area of 35,500 square meters, with a total area of about 260,000 m2. It was opened in 2014. It is a modern urban complex integrating office, hotel and retail. The shopping mall has an area of about 85,000 square meters, which is a fashion and lifestyle shopping center for the neighborhood.

It has been open for 8 years. The facade and interior space are aging, and the retail shops has not been upgraded on time.  Combined with the challenges of e-commerce and the opening of new surrounding shopping malls , this place is not attractive as before hens the rent drops as well. In order to enhance the competitiveness of the retail, the owner has decided to upgrade the above-ground part of the retail to make it more dynamic, serving  better the office building and the community.

The value of an open air mall should be measured by their ability to engage the local context. And the success of retail in attracting consumers essentially depends on stores eventually. But whether the retailers are willing to come also depends on the location, space quality and the operator. This project is located in the mature community, and there are enough customers around it.  The reasons behind it are aging space and lack of high-quality retail content. DU Studio analyzed it from the overall spatial image , circulation , accessibility , commercial plan ,way finding etc. and proposed the renovation schemes for inner courtyard.


In the overall strategy for the spatial improvement is to simplify, creating hierarchy of space,make it easily accessible and navigable.

Besides of architecture facade improvement, the upgrade of inner courtyard is very important part, where most of the events and activity happen.

At present, the color and materials of the inner courtyard are too complicated but each space is similarly flat. The new scheme unify the material and highlight some important area. In the Corridor, wood like aluminum louver replace all current virous ceiling materials. In the central area , red aluminum panels are used to address the block in the middle ,  improving the overall wayfinding system and bring some excitement into the space.

The treatment of other sub-courtyards is to create different characteristics according to the site. The east courtyard is narrow and dark at night . Vertical green plants and artistic lights are opposed to  hung to the ceiling to add the lighting level and interest.  In South atrium, where many Japanese style restraint are located, wood celing element are extended out to the void edge to make the whole space warm. In addition, in each intersection , lighting or art work are added as a mark for wayfinding.


At present, the circulation is  very confusing.  The escalators are relatively hidden, and there is no escalator in the central courtyard area. Customers can't find the way up or down when they arrive and can easily get lost. We suggest to remove the partition that block the sight to escalators and add escalators in the central courtyard to facilite the navigation.

In terms of commercial plan, we believe that the center courtyard is the heart of the whole out door retail . By address it and activating it rightly , it will stimulate the vitality of the whole space.  We propose to introduce more shops of life style into this area, moving food stores outside Maotai Road gradually to ourtyard, taking advantage of the outdoor seating space . And some the retails inside can be moved out step by step.


To improve retail ambience, we propose to improve the store visuality, accessibility, and create an welcoming interface,therefor to make it more permeable . It includes opening up shopfront, reduce solid walls, eliminating unnecessary balustrade, and eventually improve the flow of people.

The landscape of Maotai Road needs to be optimized to reduce the height of green plants and making it easy for customers to access the store.

In the center, in order to facilitate people flow, we suggest to remove the existing railings and fill in the current sunken courtyard. Also steps include changing of the existing solid wall to the glass curtain wall, adding green wall or advertising, to increase the visual attraction and the overall commercial atmosphere.

The project will be implemented in two phases. The first phase is mainly the facade of the first floor along Maotai road and the inner courtyard. The second phase is the facade above the second floor.



Location: Shanghai

Client: APP

Year: 2022

Status: On Going

Program: Retail Renovation

Team: Ping Zhu/Arthur An/Peng yang/En Yuan zhang


Construction Drawing: Shanghai Yijing