Yuyuan Road is one of the most historic streets in downtown Shanghai, China. The Street-Wall Gallery on Yuyuan Road is an art gallery designed by local firm Bengo Studio for passers-by. With the aim to create an instant immersive experience, Bengo Studio conceived this ultra-thin art gallery, which clings closely to the wall, with a total length of 5.2 meters and a floor area of less than 1 square meter. At the height of the eyes in the gallery, the design team set up a glass slot of 4.2 meters long and 30 millimeters high. Inside the glass slot is a luminous cavity for the exhibits.
The passers-by can peep through the thin strip window to appreciate the artworks in the gallery. Meanwhile, they can also submit their own artworks to the operator, UNITU, by scanning the QR code in the gallery. Every month, UNITU selects an artwork from submitted works to present in the Street-Wall Gallery. Therefore, either for the curating form or the viewing form, it is a community art gallery that exclusively belongs to passers-by.
Because the construction took place in a community, in order to avoid disturbing local residents, the Street-Wall Gallery was required to complete construction in one night. Therefore, Bengo Studio combined factory prefabrication with on-site assembly. The main structure of the gallery adopted a one-piece steel frame. A 5-meter long, metal-fluorocarbon-coated FRP shell was prefabricated and placed on the frame to form an external enclosure. The on-site installation took only three hours.
The first exhibition in the Street-Wall Gallery is Xizi’s photography exhibition of the “stalls” on the old streets in Shanghai. The gallery was originally part of the 2017 Urban Design Festival, but for the surrounding communities’ fondness, it was retained. For such an “illegal” temporary building on the street, this was a miracle.