Urban Prisms

Small but effective

"Urban Prisms" pop-up pavilion in Shanghai/CN.

Pursuing the current pop-up retail trend, which generally tends to incorporate a retail store being opened on a short-term basis and for eye-catching effect, this fine example can be found in a highly visible location in Shanghai and comprises three sharply contoured white prisms made from translucent polycarbonate panels and framed by a grid of white scaffolding. The roof is punctured by three white prisms. In a mega-city like Shanghai there is light everywhere. During the daytime, it is sunlight that makes its way down through the high-rise buildings and the smog to street level; as darkness falls, it is the innumerable artificial light sources. This pavilion contributes to the illumination of the public space in a unique way.

The snow-white prismatic forms are reminiscent of icebergs or of igloos. What is submerged in nature by sunlight and reflections glows from within in this case thanks to artificial light. From the outside, the surfaces are perceived as being cool white, whereas the view inside the pavilion reveals a contrast in atmosphere defined by warm white light. The closer you dare to go inside, the more different colours and luminous colours you see. Dichroic glass incorporated in some way into the upper sections of the prisms or in cubes at floor level filters the white light across its surface and fills the space with delicate colours, alongside shadows created by visitors’ movements. The ‘retail chamber’ features colourful sunglasses, as well as wall-mounted triangles of recycled lenses, and a small prismatic skylight lined with neon coloured acrylic casts a warm glow on those resting on the white sloping bench below.

"Urban Prisms" stands on its own, planted between the city buildings. Its lighting has special appeal, lending the angular shapes an element of self-confidence in the urban landscape they have been introduced to. The overall impression is one of artificial quality, and yet thanks to shape, colour and light, analogies can be drawn to nature. A great example of "it’s little things that can make a difference".

Client: Mujosh
Architecture: Lukstudio
Lighting design: Studio Illumine