Z58, Zhongtai Lighting Company Headquarters and Showroom | The Plan
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Z58, Zhongtai Lighting Company Headquarters and Showroom

Kengo Kuma and Associates

The French Concession district of Shanghai is not unlike New York City’s Soho, a centrally located area with an eclectic mix of business and residential properties, some of them former industrial buildings, many elegant; others quite modest. But none reflects the latest step in the city’s fast evolving cultural identity as well as Z58, the new headquarters and showroom for Zhongtai, one of the most famous and largest lighting companies in China, designed by the Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. Shanghai is well known for its urban battle of shapes - new high-rises in concrete or mirrored glass, many of them very flimsy design products of American influences - that bear no real connection with their surroundings. Z58, however, has a more complex cultural identity. Firstly, it is a conversion of an old, three storey watch factory which is modestly set at number 58 Fanyu Road, a quiet,...

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