The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China purchased a prominent yet deteriorated historic building within the Bund District of Shanghai, an area that has developed into a foreign banking capital. ICBC retained STUDIOS, in association with Joseph Wong Design Associates, to design the complete interior and exterior renovation of the 100-year-old building.
Ninety percent of the interior space was gutted. The removal of a non-original mezzanine uncovered a historic skylight and allowed the former banking hall lobby to double in height. The atrium, which had been blacked out with countless coats of paint during World War II, was restored to its former luster. New metal grilles—based on the original grilles along the exterior of the building—were installed as decorative elements around the perimeter openings. A new roof terrace and pavilion were added to take advantage of the fantastic views of the adjacent river. Likewise, the terrace views hark back across the river to ICBC’s main headquarters, also designed by STUDIOS.
Historic photos and newspaper articles were used as a source to develop the architectural guidelines for the restoration.