Ateliers Jean Nouvel set out to entice passers-by on their walk through Shanghai into a surprising shortcut through a bright red overgrown arcade. The project nicknamed ‘street of 1000 red jars’ has a red colored passageway lined with earthenware jars that connects the Ma Dang and Dan Shui streets.
The mix-use building includes offices, restaurants and two levels of shopping that are interconnected with overhead walkways and bridges. Adjustable slats for shading produce a shadowplay of natural light.
The exterior is a timid greyish-beige that contrasts boldly with glimpses of the red interior street. In the same color the outside facade is lined with flower pots filled with different species of vegetation that protect the interiors from direct sunlight and prying eyes.
The project reimagenes a urban configuration of a vanished history into a modern interpretation. The richness of the spatial qualities and greenery combined with a variety of programs intended to result in a lively and animated passageway, ideal for the urban flaneur.