Text description provided by the architects. The renovation of a three-story terraced house which was built in 1920. The house is located in a historical compound in Shanghai’s Hongkou District, where many Japanese people lived during the foreign concessions era. Actually, a Japanese newspaper of those days was found under the floor while renovations were underway.
When we visited there for the first time, the inside of the room was dim because of the partitions and the building adjacent to the south side of the house. However, we were impressed by the light and shade contrast created by the light which shined into the room from the skylight just above the staircase.
The impression influenced our new design a lot to create another skylight and the void, through which the light is brought into the lower floors thoroughly. Moreover, the staircase and the void are arranged in the same line to let us have experience going up towards the skylight. Stucco is used for the wall from the first floor to the third floor beside the staircase, which causes the shade to reflect on the wall when people go up or down. The bright stucco wall works as a reflector to bring the light to every corner of the room.
While reinforcing the structure and some other parts, the existing beam and the floorings are retained as much as possible. In order to match with their texture we arranged the large bookcase and the cabinet on the opposite side of the stucco wall, which causes the whole room to have light and shade contrast and highlights the changing light every moment.