Craft Inside Out, renovation project of a shopping center

Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology | Spring, 2015

Professor: Hao Li

Collaborative Work: Xi Ju, Shuman Wu


This project aims to renovate the obsolete underground shopping center, starting with handicraft product positioning strategy and enacting through spatial improvement. 

The marketing strategy switches the commercial theme from ubiquitous products to unique handicrafts. In alignment with the new market niche, the constructed space is renovated to present the characteristics and meet the needs of modern craftsmanship. The spatial approach includes reorganizing and consolidating the chaotic fragmented space and creating connections between the open plaza and adjacent campus. 

Craft Inside Out, market positioning and renovation strategy

Yanta Culture Shopping Center is located in the second most populous commercial district in Xi'an City. With thirteen schools and over twenty shopping malls, this area is famous for attracting young customers.

Like other malls in this area, Yanta culture shopping center is targeting to young people with similar products but failed to make a profit or attract any customers. Moreover, two more high-rise shopping malls will open in the next few years right beside the site. Yanta center needs to find a way to survive.


The current condition of the site is chaotic in terms of both construction and management. Due to the lack of lighting and maintenance, the indoor space is dark and the open space is piled with trash. On the other hand the site is adjacent to a university campus where there are several enormous dormitory building facades facing the shopping center without any functional or visual connection. With only a few shops running businesses in the building, most part of this underground mall is rarely visited. 


In order to activate the site and compete with the nearby shopping malls, this project starts with analyzing the market background and the shopping culture in this area. This vibrant commercial district almost encompasses every kind of product and entertainment. Instead of competing, we want the renovated center to compensate the shopping culture and enhance the young, vibrant atmosphere.





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