Paras Cafe

Located in the Hongqiao Vanke Center in Shanghai, the Paras Cafe caters to the staff of nearby businesses and local residents.

Finished in blue and white the design primarily uses ceramic tiles, metal mesh and plain concrete with a single use of marble for the service counter.

Judiciously hung circular wall mirrors along with the perspective-bending illusions of the grid patterned white tile walls subtly help to create the sense of a large and varied space, which alloy mesh boxes above the service counter and central table area further help to define and divide.

Architects: The Swimming Pool Studio
Chief Designer: Jeremy Li
Area: 130 sqm
Location: Shanghai, China
Completion: July, 2016
Materials: Brick, Metal Mesh, Concrete, Marble
link

Seashore Chapel

Vector Architects have designed a simple, contemplative, spiritual space extending into the air above a beach on the Bohai Sea.

Approached from the shore via a long, thin, concrete path the chapel presents a narrow, elongated profile with it’s steeply pitched roof rising above a flight of stairs. A centrally positioned rectangular aperture opens directly through the entire structure extending one’s view to the horizon beyond.

Ascending the stairs to where one may enter through double wooden doors one comes beneath a porch formed by the opening of a vertical slit to separate it from the body of the chapel. This porch is adorned with a single bell on a cross beam just below its apex.

Entering one finds a wall crossing most of the width of the chamber with a single central slit offering a view to the simple iron cross at the far end. Rounding the wall one enters the church proper, a simple space of 14m x 7m ending in a rectangular picture window facing directly out to sea. Rows of plain, wooden benches on either side of fer seating for visitors while a lectern set to one side provides a position from which they might be addressed without disrupting their view.

Lighting is thoughtfully controlled, with daylight appearing through various openings glazed with stained glass creating subtle plays of colour and shadow as the sun passes overhead.

To one side a narrow passage gives entry to a smaller space, once again ending with a view towards the sea, permitting a single visitor to stand alone in contemplation.

The inner and outer walls alike are of the same rough white concrete: textured enough to feel weather-worn , refined enough to present the chapel’ s delicate form.

Viewed from the sides the bulk of the chapel stands on thin legs seemingly unsupported but for the steps at the landward end. It appears to drift somewhere just above the horizon, at once both of the sea and of the land.

Beneath the body of the chapel a space is created where beach goers can gather, rest in the shade or pause to take in the view.

Architects: Vector Architects
Location: Nandaihe, Hebei
Client: Beijing Rocfly Investment (Group) CO., LTD
Project Year: 2015
Area: 270.0 sqm
Principal Architect: Gong Dong
Design Team: Dongping Sun , Yi Chi Wang, Jiahe Zhang
link

Taiyang Farming Commune

The Taiyang Organic Commune, located in a small valley amongst mountains to the west of Hangzhou, is a natural village of 140 households.

A series of small temporary structures were required. Local and natural materials were used, along with labour from the commune village. The structures needed to be economical and sustainable, as well as quick to assemble. The architects worked with local farmers to build structures suitable for farming use. Three bamboo structures have been realised: a pigsty, a hen house and a pavilion.

Extensive consultation with farmers during the design process concerning the animals’ habits and needs has resulted in a design which facilitates greater productivity with traditional breeds.

Architects: Atelier Chen Haoru
Client: Taiyang Organic Farming Commune
Team: Chen Haoru / Xie Chenyun / Ma Chenglong / Wang Chunwei / Zhu Xiaolong / Gu Anjie
Design: 2013
Completion: 2014
Programme: pigsty / hen house / pavilion
Area: pigsty 256sqm / hen house 130sqm / pavilion 120 sum
Materials: Bamboo, thatch

Cloud Pavilion

The current Cloud Pavilion is a reinvention of a temporary version originally built in 2013 as part of the Shanghai West Bund Biennial for Architecture and Contemporary Art. While broadly maintaining the form, structure and concept of the original, the new pavilion is a permanent structure which succeeds both as sculptural object and practical event space.

The pavilion consists two horizontal rectangular slabs, forming the floor and ceiling, separated by a grid of thin vertical metal rods which surround an inner cloud-shaped space defined by a wall of curved glass. Within the cloud chamber a single column clad in wood contains a second interior space and access to the pavilion’s lighting controls etc. The entire ceiling within the glass wall is white and, but for a narrow strip around the edge, can be lit from behind filling the space with an even, diffuse light, and illuminating the pavilion as part of the night scenery along the river’s edge.

Occupying a former industrial site, symbolised by cranes preserved on the riverside, and now hosting a variety of activity spaces – a landscaped section of former railway line, skatepark, basketball courts, bouldering wall – the surrounding West Bund area is being thoroughly redeveloped with contributions from numerous Chinese and international architects.

Architect: Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
Local architect: Tongji Architectural Design Institute
Location: Shanghai
Client: West Bund Development Corporation
Commission: 2015
Construction: May to July 2016
Area: 150 sqm
link

Caohejing Incubator

SHL have remodelled an existing office building for use as an incubator for hi-tech start-up companies.

A new facade of white, undulating, perforated, powder-coated aluminium envelopes the building. This covers some but not all of the building’s windows offering varying degrees of visibility and shade.

A new central atrium has been created allowing more daylight into the core of the building whilst serving as a central connecting space. Here a mural by shanghai-based artist,the Orange Blowfish, spans three floors up through the atrium along one flanking wall.

Casual seating, a suspended meeting room, and a number of planted outdoor terraces provide alternatives to more traditionally arranged office spaces.

architect: schmidt hammer lassen architects
landscape architect: schmidt hammer lassen architects
collaborating architect: UDG
structural engineer: UDG
client: Caohejing High Tech Park
Location: Shanghai
area: 1977 sqm
completion: 2016
link

Tony’s Organic House

Tony’s Farm is a supplier of organic foods. Their Lujiazui clubhouse, designed by Playze, features an organic restaurant (1f ), meeting space (2f ), as well as VIP dining areas, a balcony and show kitchen (3f ). Spaces are arranged within the three storey block with a vertical hierarchy of privacy from public areas on the first floor, through semi- private areas on the second floor and second floor mezzanine, to private VIP areas on the third. Degrees of privacy are also enacted through the shading of windows and accessibility, with the more private areas being shaded on all sides and having no direct access from without the building. This hierarchy is further reinforced by the separation of space – the first two floors share the east glass curtain wall and are connected by a series of boxes running between the two. These connected boxes flow from the first floor restaurant counter, spreading across the wall and ceiling before passing through the space between curtain wall and second floor to connect seamlessly with the central stairwell. This both establishes a continuity between the first two floors and emphasises the distinctness of the third.

Built area: 1230 sqm
Completion: January 2013
Team: Mengjia He, Pascal Berger, Marc Schmit, Martina Knotkova, Mching Wang, Didier Callot, Felix Zheng, Maggie Tang, Benny Hou, Daisy Yuan, James Liu, Chao Yu
Lighting Design: UnoLai

Onehouse Office

The Onehouse have designed a new office for themselves.

The main spaces are finished in an austere palette of black and white, with grey flooring. Planters of greenery, cacti and snake plant, provide a break in colour and form, their rounded stems and pointed leaves contrasting with the simple, rectilinear approach employed throughout.

Moving into more private offices and meeting spaces natural wood flooring and furniture, coloured chairs, and tungsten lighting soften the atmosphere.

Architects: The Onerous
Location: Shanghai
Materials: brushed black titanium sheet, Black Cedar board, self- levelling flooring, stainless steel plate
Area: 480 sqm
Project Year: 2015
Chief designer: Fan Lei
Design team: Ma Yonggang, Geng Yifan
Interior layout: Fan Lei, Li Wenting
link

JW Office

JW & Associates is a multidisciplinary design firm whose practice includes interior design, product design and architecture.
The initial concept of this design was to create an office environment accommodating diverse emotional and working states from the calm and solitary to excited group exchanges.
The first stage was the abandonment of excessive ornamentation in favour of function and practicality with a simple colour palette of white, grey and warm, natural wood.
The design’s primary feature is a meanderous central island which, running the length of the office’s central space in a series of waves, provides desk space and varied seating, as well as dividing the room. In addition the incorporation of stands of bamboo creates a soft and naturally varied form of division between the room’s two halves. Its continuous curve divides the space without creating discreet segments.
A connecting corridor runs the full length of the office joining closed offices at the far end via the central working area to a kitchen and snack bar adjoining the reception area immediately before the main entrance. A separate conference room further divides the kitchen area from the main office. Double doors at either end of the main office area can be used to isolate each area as required.
The reception desk utilizes off cuts leftover as waste material from the construction of the remainder of the project. A counter running the length of the kitchen area is coated with TK PET resin which runs down its side to form a continuous surface with the floor of the reception and kitchen area. The clear resin is marked with large brush strokes of Chinese ink and flows over the floor’s boundaries into the central office area and meeting room giving the impression of standing water.

Architects: JW (SHANGHAI) ARCHITECTURE DESIGN & CONSULTING
Location: Shanghai
Area: 390 sum
Design: Yao Jun
Completion: 2013

LXB Noodles

This popular noodle restaurant on a pedestrianised shopping street close to the river in Changsha has been given a facade of moulded concrete and weathering steel.

The form used for the facade, a sheet of vertical split bamboo strips, is used as a front piece for the restaurant’s service counter.

Space within the restaurant is divided by gridded metal frames which rise from the floor to a high ceiling. Suspended here are steel cable ‘noodles’ hanging in deeply looping rows forming a sculptural ceiling. Bare bulbs suspended within the form defined by these ‘noodles’ provide a soft, warm light in the interior.

In good weather the front of the restaurant can be opened up softening the divide of interior and exterior as seating is moved onto the street and light and breeze are allowed to enter.

Architects: Lukstudio
Location: Changsha
Project team: Christina Luk, Alba Beroiz Blazquez, Cai Jin Hong, Pao Yee Lim
General contractor: Shanghai MaiChang Construction Project Co., Ltd.
Area: 50 sqm
Completion: 2015
link