Starbucks Coffee at UBPA, Shanghai, China / Original Design Studio

Looking for unification among complication

Project Specs


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Appreciation towards Original Design Studio for providing the following description:


After all the hoopla of Shanghai World Exposition, the best practical district in Puxi City has developed into a cultural creativity block integrated with creative design, exchange and display, and entertainment experience in recent years. Starbucks have been added to improve the zonal facilities.

▽ 鸟瞰 Bird’s eye view


As a later comer, in such a place with all sorts of possible modeling, the architects choose the simple form of glass boxes to deal with the aesthetic fatigue about the diverse modeling after the expo. The continuous external oblique glass ribs processed the extremely rich shadows around into slices, looking for unification among complication.

▽ 大庭院 Large courtyard


The central section of these glass boxes had a small opening towards the road. Inside, a rotated 45 degrees courtyard introduced the pedestrians from the road. The angle of the courtyard paralleled to the main roads in the surrounding two districts. The courtyard was rounded by a few walls with white pebbles texture. The walls provided a subtle direction, and they had a sense of implicit invitation, which had a subtle and hesitating sense of uncertainty between entering and not entering. The lateral window quietly opened the passage in an extremely calm way, but refused to have substantive contact, which formed an ambiguous attitude between greeting and resisting.

▽ 外部总体 External overall view

▽ 外部总体 External overall view

▽ 外部总体 External overall view

▽ 外部总体 External overall view


A Chinese tallow tree is planted in the yard to provide seasonally changing expression. Taking the white pebble paved ground and wall as paper while sunshine as pen, we have drawn a calm scenery in the center of lively garden using two stones under the tree and changing shadow shaped by the tallow sprigs.

▽ 大庭院 Large courtyard

▽ 大庭院 Large courtyard

▽ 大庭院 Large courtyard

▽ 左:大庭院 右:小庭院 Left: Large courtyard Right: Small courtyard

▽ 小庭院 Small courtyard


One side of the building facing the park has been unfolded completely, and  the business area presents column-free structure, developing a continuous extended picture seen from interior and exterior of this building. This building makes fully use of the girder (1500mm height) to divide the space. The end of this girder is extended to the facade, becoming the full embodiment of externalisation of the whole roof’s logical structure. It is involved in the composition of picture in the inside courtyard, avoiding the disturbing structure of facade decoration. Two girders are sorted into one group to reveal double-beam. The pipelines of equipment are collected together by taking the advantage of the space between double-beam, therefore, an extensive and complete space can be laid out to realise the goal of ‘the integration of construction,structure and equipment’.

▽ 室内 Interior

▽ 室内 Interior

▽ 室内 Interior

▽ 室内 Interior

▽ 左:室内 右:楼梯 Left: Interior Right: Staircase


A steel stair behind the wall leads people up to the building roof which serves as the extending area of cafe, providing different sights in another height. White pebble is chosen as paving material once more in order to extend ground yard. The roof is open to public in non-business hours.

▽ 楼梯 Staircase

▽ 细部 Details

▽ 左:区位图 右:施工过程图 Left: Location map Right: Construction process

▽ 剖面图 Section

▽ 墙身大样图 Wall details


Architect: Original Design Studio (Zhang Ming / Zhang Zi)
Design Team: Zhang Zi, Zhang Ming, Sun Jialong, Zhang Zhiguang
Location: Urban Best Practices Area of 2010 EXPO, Shanghai, China
Design Period: 2012/10-2013/2
Completion: 2014/2
Building Area: 500㎡
Photographer: Su Shengliang, Wang Yuan

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