Kailong Jiajie Plaza Transformation Shanghai, AIM Architecture, Chinese Architecture Photos

Shanghai Kailong Jiajie Plaza Transformation Design

30 Aug 2021

Architects: AIM Architecture

Location: Hongkou District, Shanghai, China

Shanghai Kailong Jiajie Plaza Transformation

Photos by Dirk Weiblen unless noted otherwise

Shanghai Kailong Jiajie Plaza Transformation News

Kailong Jiajie Plaza Transformation by AIM

Kailong Jiajie Plaza Transformation is part of AIM’s ongoing exploration of what it means to activate cities, buildings, and society by creating inspiring spaces.

Shanghai Kailong Jiajie Plaza Transformation aerial view
photo : Aaron Shao

With this project, AIM Architecture look at regeneration with fresh eyes. The architects open up the building, not only on the façade but also at its heart, the interior courtyard. The architects enhance the district’s vibrancy, create a stronger connection to the community, and discover an inspiring future for the old neighborhood of Hongkou District.

Kailong Jiajie Plaza building before redevelopment:
Shanghai Kailong Jiajie Plaza building before


The building before looked abandoned and dark. Many shops had left, and advertisements boards covered the façade.

Kailong Jiajie Plaza Transformation Shanghai building atrium

Inside the building, an atrium was filled with escalators at the center, making it feel crowded and small. It was clear the building didn’t need a makeover; it needed a new life. It was an opportunity to create a new type of building: not a shopping mall or an office building, but a modern, hybrid space that meets multiple needs.

Kailong Jiajie Plaza Transformation Shanghai building balcony

Terraces & Staircases

The existing building has a great rooftop that was unused. AIM proposed an external structure on the facade to extend the interiors to the outdoor. With this structure, the building has a powerful, tangible connection to the life and communities that surrounded it.

Shanghai Kailong Jiajie Plaza Transformation

The ground floor is more porous and opens to a sunken plaza that leads to the basement level and a massive, natural light-filled atrium. Gone are the heavy escalators; instead, an enormous staircase connects people from the basement to the rooftop with a view over the city.

Shanghai Kailong Jiajie Plaza Transformation Kailong Jiajie Plaza courtyard interior design

The form language of the building is fluid. The facade is wrapped with a neutral Champagne color mesh. The balustrades extend with hidden lights and plants spilling over the terraces, making the building quite literally breathe new life into the community.

Kailong Jiajie Plaza courtyard interior stairs Kailong Jiajie Plaza atrium interior design staircases


Shanghai is a dense city with plenty of old structures waiting to be revitalized or demolished. With the Kailong project, we seek to show the positive forces of building transformation and activation. Urban interventions, like the one in Kailong, save resources and improve the environmental performance of existing buildings and respect the collective memory of the neighborhood, which is fundamental to enhance the sense of community in our cities.

Kailong Jiajie Plaza building China at night

The project explores the power of design, without expensive technologies, to activate our old loved buildings into new friendly structures that contribute to a better sustainable future. Such interventions include energy-saving by maximizing the daylight, reducing the heat gain in summer with the terraces overshadowing the façade strategically, creating a microclimate with plants and ventilation that reduces the use of air conditioning in the atrium walking stairs replacing energy-demanding escalators.

Kailong Jiajie Plaza Transformation building balcony

The flexibility of use also means a longer life span and avoiding gypsum ceilings that invariably get destroyed by AC.

Kailong Jiajie Plaza building facade cladding

We designed this building with publicness in mind. It will become a new and vibrant core of the community that offers a diverse collective use. A blending between intimacy and collectiveness symbolizes hope for a brighter, greener, and more versatile interior and outdoor life.

Kailong Jiajie Plaza building China city Kailong Jiajie Plaza Transformation facade Shanghai
photo : Aaron Shao

Kailong Jiajie Plaza Transformation, Shanghai, China – Building Information

Client: Kailong Group
Designer: AIM Architecture
Location: Shanghai, China
GFA: 20658 sqm
Completion: 2021
Design Scope: Façade renovation, Interior design, Landscape design

Design Principals: Wendy Saunders, Vincent de Graaf
Project Manager: Lisa Ngan
Project Architect:Alba Galan
Design team: Bubu Cao, Kang Jin, Yuan Chen, Zihan Zhao, Mavis Li, Leslie Chen, Shirley Woo, Charles Liu, Zhang Yi, Heather Zhang
FFE Team: Baoer Wang
Rendering: Jiao Yan

Shanghai Kailong Jiajie Plaza Transformation

Landscape Consultant: Discoverscape
Lighting Consultant: Lumia Lighting Design
LDI: Shanghai Urban Architectural Design Co., Ltd
General Contractor: Kangye Construction
Project Management: CBRE
QS: Shanghai First Surveying, LTD.
LEED Consultant: GLUMAC
BIM Consultant: Integral VIM Building Tech (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.

Photographer: Dirk Weiblen, Aaron Shao

Shanghai Kailong Jiajie Plaza Transformation

5F, 77 Fenyang Road, Shanghai 200031
上海市徐汇区汾阳路77号5楼 200031
+ 86 21 6380 5995
[email protected]
[email protected]
Facebook: AIM Architecture
Instagram: aim_architecture

Shanghai Kailong Jiajie Plaza Transformation images / information received 300821 from AIM Architecture

Location: Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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