Bringing a French brand to life in China.
2014, the year of the horse, marked the opening of luxury French brand Hermes’ first ‘Maison’ store in the heart of downtown Shanghai. Built within 2 historic buildings situated in the Huaihai Road quarter, renowned locally for its heritage, Gleeds was appointed to cost manage complex building restoration works.
1,174 m2 of floor space was sensitively renovated to accommodate a high-end retail fit out, whilst protecting the buildings’ original features. In total, this complex project took 3 years to design and 3.5 years to construct.
A unique space
Hermes Maison aspired to create a space that visitors would enjoy spending time in, and return to. In addition to the store’s retail space and cafe, it incorporates an open plan entertainment space on the top floor and a garden decked with granite and bamboo for guests to relax in. Inside, a beautiful curved steel staircase takes centre stage, dramatically connecting one floor to the other.
Managing restoration costs
The buildings’ red brick façade dates back to the 1930s and was in need of considerable repair. By classifying the levels of brickwork damage, Gleeds’ surveyors could closely monitor restoration progress and costs. As a result, the façade was successfully restored under budget and it is now one of the store’s finest features.
The refurbishment also required a significantly high proportion of imported construction materials. All the external windows and doors were renovated with materials sourced from Europe, along with the façade lighting – essential in showcasing store’s beautiful and historic features. To keep costs under control, Gleeds hosted a workshop with the designers and the client to identify the most suitable European and local suppliers.
To make the store structurally sound, the original internal structure was replaced with a new stronger system. This required significant piling works, which had to be constructed without any damage to the original façade or the 2 underground lines that pass beneath the buildings. The nearest pile is as little as 5 metres away from one of the metro tunnels.
Did you know?
This is the first Hermes Maison store in China and fifth in the world after Paris, New York, Seoul and Tokyo.