Text description provided by the architects. Within a limited space and budget, it is a challenge but still interesting for the architect to improve three member family’s life quality to the fullest potential. The house, located near Huaihai Road, one of the most prosperous shopping district in Shanghai, is at ground level of an old-fashioned three-story apartment built in the 1920s.The architect has spent nearly 10 months to renovate the house, turning it into a modern LOFT.
Expansion and reconstruction
On the base of original structure, the architect divides the space from north to south. The sloping roof, and all the outside areas facing to the courtyard with good lighting are all reserved for public activities. The inner side with poor lighting, used asauxiliary area is reconstructed with rest area. After scene investigation and negotiation with structural engineers, the architect finally decided to adopt a series of expansion and reorganization measures, such as partially digging down, recasting concrete into foundation, removing redundant walls and consolidating steel structure etc.
Separation and dialogue
After raising floor height from 3.7m to 4.2m, the architect can in thus make a loft space through light steel structure and allow light to enter the building by making full use of glass railings and windows. Therefore, we keep vision transparent and in the meantime, successfully separate the living space between parents and children, yet still leaving a channel to communicate.
The converted loft is already spacious and comfortable to its maximum considering the limits of current space. With custom-built solid wood bed, and folding door as well as a lightweight shelving storage system,system, the quality of young couple’s living space is largely improved.
Afterrenovation, the opening window ofchildren's room fits well kid’s height, becoming then a small door for him out of expection. The height of the closet door is also very suitable for his height. Considering that the kid will grow up in the future, the architect made a small adjustable desk for him. In order to reduce the depth ofstairs and make it easier for children, the architects designedwooden stairs which connect loft into staggered shaped steps.
The architects hides all pipelines, equipment and even air conditioners through walls, cabinets and ceilings. And through the edge of stairs, high bookcase, children's room tatami, living room’s deck and other marginal space for reasonable storage, we hide again books, children's toys, and small daily necessities placed in a mess in old house. In a limited space, separating toilet room improves better life quality than separatingwashing area. The entrances totwo bathrooms andchildren's room are made to a hidden door wall system integrated perfectly with kitchen and stairs through ash boards.
Rural life in downtown
The renovated public space is spacious and bright. The architectturnedkitchen operation space,originally could be seen directly from entrance , into a parent-child space around high bookcase.
The architects retained old large dining table and made a wood deck with storage function aroundwindows, allowing family to fully enjoylighting and courtyard views when dining, reading and entertaining.
Afterrenovation, the owner also renewed small courtyard in front of the window. Inearly summer, when friends visit their house, they can feel full of life.
There are thousands of old houses in Shanghai. In the era of post-urbanization, the government is more concerned with the protection of these old buildings from the perspective of urban planning. But architects should think human-centeredly, how to transform and enhance the living in these old houses through professional ability.