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Historical apartment renovation in Shanghai Shanghai / China / 2018

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Located in an ancient neighbor in Hongkou district, Shanghai, the project is part of a popular TV show called Dream Home. The renovation designed by On Design Studio aim to provide a new identity to the interior of a 100 years old apartment by creating a balance between the historical aspects of the existing location and a more stylish, contemporary space to reflect the changing needs of the owners with an eye toward the future.


These new requirements break with the previous layout, where segregated spaces, undefined uses, low quality light and a lack of comfort were the norm.


The apartment is designed to bridge the lives of 2 generations, a young guy and his girlfriend, who recently moved in, and his father, who has been living in the same home for over 70 years. This social organization represent a common situation in big cities where, due to cultural principles and increasing prices, more often young couples decide to live with their parents. 


The architects wanted to recover and adapt the positive feature of the existing site and at the same time providing an interior that combine private rooms and a social spaces where the entire family could gather together and share their routines.


To accomplish this the entire space of approximately 80sqm, was separated into three different areas, the two main private bedrooms were divided on the opposite sides on the apartment while a generous and bright public space, that works as connection between them, take advantage of the orientation to enjoy the best views, provide plenty of natural light and allow to have natural ventilation throughout the entire interior.


Storage and organization modular cabinet, located along the perimeter of the apartment, due to the load bearing structure, were distributed in every room shaping one single and continuous volume for each space. Considering the different needs of usage every cabinet was customized with volumes of different depth and sizes designed for a specific function. Furthermore each cabinet feature a different color, mixed with traditional elements such us natural wood, recycled glass and rattan mesh, aiming to create a smooth gradient of colors between different rooms.


Besides the dining and living area, service spaces, cleverly distributed in the public area included kitchen, bar area, an auxiliary bathroom and an additional guest bedroom for the future expansion of the family. For functional reason the kitchen and the extra bedroom can be isolated from the rest of the open area by a semi transparent foldable curtain that works as room divider.


Each bedroom's design  is generated by two main functions,  the sleeping area with king size bedroom and a working area which feature a desk and a bay window to create an additional cozy place where to lay down and enjoy the visual connection with the historical context.


Among the key design elements shaping the interior, the parquet floor stimulate the perception of continuous space using the same tiles combined into different pattern for each room, separated by doors embedded in elegant niches allowing the space to flow between rooms.


The entire renovation feature two main materials, wood, used for the floor and modular cabinets and ceramic tiles for the 2 bathrooms, mixed with different features made with recycled traditional materials belonging to the former interior to emphasize the connection with the past and conceptually embrace the two different generations sharing the interior. All of these elements combined with colorful customized pieces of furniture define a warm, classic and yet contemporary atmosphere.

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    Located in an ancient neighbor in Hongkou district, Shanghai, the project is part of a popular TV show called Dream Home. The renovation designed by On Design Studio aim to provide a new identity to the interior of a 100 years old apartment by creating a balance between the historical aspects of the existing location and a more stylish, contemporary space to reflect the changing needs of the owners with an eye toward the future. These new requirements break with the previous layout, where...

    Project details
    • Year 2018
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Interior Design
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