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A pet shop like no other, that’s the best way to describe Pidan. First of all, it’s the magnificent location in on the ground floor of what’s now known as 1933 Laoyangfang, a colossal, concrete and steel structure from the 1930s which originally served as Shanghai‘s main slaughterhouse. The building is structured around a central atrium, right below a myriad of interlocking ramps, bridges, and spiral staircases which were used for the flow of both people and cattle. Since then, the complex has been home to a factory and a storage facility, and following an extensive renovation in 2008, it’s a hub of entrepreneurs in the creative industry. Pidan‘s ground floor store unit measures 100 sqm. (1,076 sq.ft.) and features a striking interior design by Chinese practice I.F.S.E. Space Creative Lab.

It’s safe to say that the chosen aesthetic is far from any other pet shop we’ve seen, featuring a series of undulating metal structures across the premises. Interestingly, the shapes are inspired by an animal spine, and specifically one of a feline, that changes shape with almost every movement. It’s a theme with a symbolic value, given the location’s original purpose, and it’s one that honours animals in general, while also reflecting harmony between mankind and the animal kingdom. Adding to the dynamic of the structures’ undulating height is their positioning around seven imaginary circles with a perimeter that extend outside the façade.

Crafted from punctuated metal sheets, the structures feature openings and cut-outs that allow shoppers to traverse the store premises and have peeks of adjacent sections. The settings at Pidan make full use of the building’s concrete shell, and all elements, most notably the exposed ceiling and massive pillars, have been given prominent exposure. The entire back wall is covered in slabs of mirror, and this obviously creates the sense of a much larger space. The shop’s merchandise, all cat-focused, is presented on shelves attached to the metal structures or on plexiglass displays. If you’re a cat lover, you’ll not only be able to indulge in the variety of pet products, but also a number of purring creatures that roam around. Location: Pidan, 10 Shajing Lu, Ground Floor (Jiaxing Lu).

Designed by I.F.S.E. Space Creative Lab
Images © I.F.S.E. Space Creative Lab
Photography: Shi Wei

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