Kengo Kuma & Associates


Shanghai, China


Kvadrat textile: Field 2

Past is prologue | Shipyard 1862

The chairs in the 800-seat theatre at Shipyard 1862 are upholstered in the Kvadrat textile Field 2.  Now a cultural centre and leisure complex, the former shipyard is located on the Huangpu river in what is now Shanghai’s financial district.

Kengo Kuma & Associates chose fire-retardant Field 2, a mélange textile characterised by intriguing colour details, to echo the immersive materiality that characterises Shipyard 1862. Industrial materials which rekindle the historical spirit of the once abandoned factory, are used throughout the site.

To preserve the monumentality of the original structure, the architects created two atriums aligned with main access streets linked by a central 5-storey atrium, which frames the titanic scale of the building. The east-wing is home to the multipurpose theatre while the west wing facing is retrofitted with commercial spaces.

Shipyard 1862 aspires to be a must-visit location in Shanghai for both locals and international visitors. Since 2000, when the site became a venue for art shows and events, it has been recognised as a significant hub for creativity and artistic expression.

Kengo Kuma and Associates: “We chose Kvadrat textiles due to the high quality. Notably, the durability and abundant colour variations, which enabled us to get to the subtle colour differences we required. The details are wonderful.”

Photography by Eiichi Kano

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