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L&M DESIGN LAB Shanghai Office / L&M DESIGN LAB

L&M DESIGN LAB Shanghai Office / L&M DESIGN LAB
“Silvery vortex” resembles time tunnel. Image © Yijie Hu
“Silvery vortex” resembles time tunnel. Image © Yijie Hu

Entrance with strong sense of direction. Image © Yijie Hu Night view of the studio. Image © Yijie Hu The “magic belt” that connects north and south sides of the room. Image © Yijie Hu Vibrant sunroom on south side. Image © Yijie Hu + 28

Putuo Qu, China
  • Interiors designers: L&M DESIGN LAB
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 70.0
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2018
  • Photographs Photographs: Yijie Hu
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: 万家灯饰, 摩根智能家居, 海福乐
  • Construction Drawing Design: Wuyi Lai
  • Construction: Shanghai Liangchao Engineering Decoration Co., Ltd.
  • Furniture: Shanghai Zhiyi Industrial Co., Ltd.
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Entrance with strong sense of direction. Image © Yijie Hu
Entrance with strong sense of direction. Image © Yijie Hu

Text description provided by the architects. L&M DESIGN LAB recently completed the renovation of its office in Shanghai. After one month, a ground-floor flat in 90s residential neighborhood was transformed to a modern and contemporary office. The “time tunnel” brings both lightness and vitality into the once dark, narrow flat, invoking a feeling of dream and fantasy.

Night view of the studio. Image © Yijie Hu
Night view of the studio. Image © Yijie Hu

The original flat had a linear layout (3.3 meters wide, 20 meters deep) with two rooms and one dark little patio. The poor lighting and ventilation condition and cramped space made it difficult to be connected with the idea of a pioneer studio.

Communication between the “logic belt” and “magic belt”. Image © Yijie Hu
Communication between the “logic belt” and “magic belt”. Image © Yijie Hu

Mirror Bridge
Conflict appears to be a necessary driving force for innovation. To face the biggest problem "long" and "dark", whether to separate the space or use artificial light is not the best way. The vision is to maintain the unique linear experience and optimize spatial scales as well as maximize the reflection of natural light.

Introduce Mirror Bridge
Introduce Mirror Bridge

How to reflect the precious sunlight on the ground floor indoors as much as possible?|
How to avoid the glare caused by direct reflection to the office area?
How to make the dull walkway more entertaining and enjoyable?
What is coming out is a twisted mirror polished stainless steel, a brilliant silvery vortex!

View from entrance to workplace. Image © Yijie Hu
View from entrance to workplace. Image © Yijie Hu

The twisted metal surface allows the light to be reflected multiple times indoors, increasing the illumination as well as creating a magic time-tunnel experience. Meanwhile, the open work area allows the air flow through windows on both sides, which improves the indoor environment significantly.

The mirror polished stainless steel enhances overall brightness in the room. Image © Yijie Hu
The mirror polished stainless steel enhances overall brightness in the room. Image © Yijie Hu
Structure analysis of the mirror polished vortex
Structure analysis of the mirror polished vortex
The “magic belt” that connects north and south sides of the room. Image © Yijie Hu
The “magic belt” that connects north and south sides of the room. Image © Yijie Hu

After determining the overall design direction, a series of structure studies optimized the construction logic of the stainless steel itself. The form of the ground-supported portion and the tension of its shape partially reduced the difficulty of construction.

Horizontally extended meeting room. Image © Yijie Hu
Horizontally extended meeting room. Image © Yijie Hu

Integrate the design philosophy into the house
The twisted mirror polished stainless steel vortex connects the north and south, solving the lighting, ventilation and scale problems in one single step. However, this does not mean the end of the design since the organization of service space was not perfect for a design studio. Practicality and rationality are equally important compared to dreams and romance.
The design attempts to convey the philosophy: Logic & Magic (follow the logic, create the magic) through rational arrangement of service spaces.

Multi-fuctional logic belt. Image © Yijie Hu
Multi-fuctional logic belt. Image © Yijie Hu

In this case, it is natural to connect the meeting room with kitchen and courtyard. If we compare the mirror polished stainless steel bridge to a “magic belt”, then the circular storage space may be the “logic belt” that integrate many practical functions.
The combination of “logic belt” and “magic belt” bring new life to the old flat.

Morphology analysis of the mirror vortex
Morphology analysis of the mirror vortex

The surrounding scenery is incorporated into the “magic belt” and flows into the interior along its surface.

The hole between the kitchen and meeting room can deliver wine and coffee conveniently. Image © Yijie Hu
The hole between the kitchen and meeting room can deliver wine and coffee conveniently. Image © Yijie Hu

The vortex gradually shrinks in the lounge area and form the fishtail bar in the end, which not only realizes the function but also avoids direct sight from the entrance to the workplace.

The starting point of “logic belt” in the meeting room. Image © Yijie Hu
The starting point of “logic belt” in the meeting room. Image © Yijie Hu

Different from the traditional obstructive scenery, the material and curvature of the silvery vortex make it reflect the extraordinary dimensionality of the surrounding space, both modern and magic.

Vibrant sunroom on south side. Image © Yijie Hu
Vibrant sunroom on south side. Image © Yijie Hu

The renovation of L&M DESIGN LAB give an example of how Shanghai's 40 million square meters of stock housing can be transformed and how design can activate and bring vitality to our everyday life.

View from the street. Image © Yijie Hu
View from the street. Image © Yijie Hu

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Project location

Address: Zhong Shan Bei Lu, Putuo Qu, Shanghai Shi, China

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "L&M DESIGN LAB Shanghai Office / L&M DESIGN LAB" 23 Aug 2018. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/900452/l-and-m-design-lab-l-and-m-design-lab/> ISSN 0719-8884
“Silvery vortex” resembles time tunnel. Image © Yijie Hu

立木设计工作室改造 / 立木设计研究室

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