MINI LIVING has revealed plans for its first building-scale project: the transformation of a cluster of six buildings at a former paint factory in Shanghai into an mixed-use “urban hotspot” and co-living facility with space for living, working and socializing.
Partnering with Chinese project developer Nova Property Investment Co., MINI LIVING will fill the industrial shells of the existing buildings with a range of adaptable, program-rich spaces including apartments, rentable workspaces and shared-service areas that will enable “maximum personal flexibility and optimum use of space.”
Residential spaces in the building will cater to singles, couples and families of all sizes with a range of term periods. Interiors will feature clean, contemporary materials and finishes, with details inspired by historic Shanghai. Apartment units are designed within small footprints, with surrounding flexible communal spaces to accommodate activities needing larger areas.
Intended to become a new hub of activity for the neighborhood, a large portion of the building will be accessible not just to residents but to the surrounding community for Jing’An as well. Public lounges, exhibition areas, gardens, play areas, shops, restaurants and a food market will be open to all, encouraging residents and visitors to mingle. Through the use of architecture, MINI LIVING is aiming to promote social interaction.
“With MINI LIVING we’re looking to create a genuine alternative within the rental market of big cities,” says Esther Bahne, Head of MINI Brand Strategy and Business Innovation. “We’re offering a place that can adapt to its residents, is flexible and allows room to breathe. MINI LIVING gives residents their privacy, but also enables them to engage with a variety of different people. It makes those first steps into a new city that much smoother. The idea is that our residents really feel at home here.”
In addition to the physical innovation of the architecture, the project also including a range of unique digital services that will allow residents to restaurant reservations, book room cleaning and service, order food and rent shared vehicles or other transportation options.
MINI LIVING was launched in 2016 by auto maker MINI to explore new types of living concepts that optimize quality of life in small spaces, keeping in line with the brand’s motto, “Creative Use of Space.” Recent projects include the “Urban Nest” collaboration with Penda at the Shanghai Mini Life Exposition and a housing prototype for resource-conscious shared living developed in partnership with SO-IL for the Milan Salone del Mobile 2017.
“MINI has always been an urban brand. It not only has its finger on the pulse of the city, it injects that pulse with extra energy,” explains Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, the parent company of MINI.
“At MINI we are also well versed in the intelligent use of space; back in 1959 the classic Mini was already maximising the experience available within a very small footprint. MINI LIVING brings this know-how from the vehicles we drive into the places where we live. We are rethinking the idea of living space in the city and developing attractive, need-oriented living concepts. Our aim here is to offer an extremely high quality of life within an extremely small area.”
Construction on the project is scheduled to begin by the end of the year.