The Design Republic Design Commune in the centre of Shanghai is entirely devoted to artistic and creative pursuits. It is a modern design hub that plays host not only to designers and architects but also to enthusiasts and other members of the trade. The new Design Republic flagship store is located here, amidst other retailers and promoters of design products offering everything from books and fashion to art galleries, lighting, accessories, venues for events, cafés, restaurants and bars. In the words of the Shanghai-based designers Neri & Hu, “situated within the historic relic of the Police Headquarters built by the British in the 1910s, the project takes a surgical approach to renovation. First, gently removing the decaying wood and plaster, then carefully restoring the still vibrant red brick work, while grafting skin, joints and organs onto parts that needed reconstruction.”

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It is an interesting redevelopment scheme for a building that was almost completely derelict. It has been reinvented, with brand new functions and totally renovated interiors. The white colour of the rooms is juxtaposed with the hue of the bricks from the original façade. “The clear intentionality behind the detailing of connections between the old and the new creates a visually and spatially tectonic balance in relation to the building as a whole,” stated the architects.

Sabrina Sciama

Sabrina Sciama

After graduating in architecture, she worked in publishing for over twenty years. Contents manager for corporate blogs, architecture- and design portals, collaborating with professional magazines and handling the drafting of monographs. She has worked with: Domus, Abitare, Case da Abitare, Auto&Design, Case&Stili. Actively involved in the design-italia.it portal between 2001 and 2007, working mainly on the daily news section and the daily newsletter, as well as playing a proactive role in the management of additional website content. Editor of Box magazine from 2004 to 2009, also coordinating the drafting of two volumes focusing on young designers entitled “Box circa 40 – progettisti italiani e stranieri attorno ai 40 anni”. Coordinated the drafting of corporate catalogues and monographs for the series entitled “I Protagonisti del Design” for Hachette Fascicoli (Giulio Iacchetti and James Irvine, 2012).