RIGI designed a white 3-story house in a common Shanghai old-style lane. There are loads of similar buildings in the city that aren’t new and situated in naturally-formed cubes — taking the memories of the city. It faces south and has entrances from both sides. Due to the complex compartments and profound depth, the overall indoor light was bad. Since it had been built a long time ago, part of the building structure required to be repaired and reinforced, RIGI unified the height of the whole building as well.
The stairs on the northern side were torn, the skylight and stairs are intended to be central objects, reshaping the whole logic and form of this 3-story building. Using its punched holes, the steel stairs may bring to the light.
‘There isn’t so much pleasure in existence, and our own life is filled with little happiness. That which we love is to not possess good things or luxurious furniture, but a self-made lifetime on our own. Having seen so many homes, the only notion we consider is that an individual cannot be stuck using a settled life, whether in the home value or fashion. A home is not equivalent to a residence, the home belongs to our family and us. A house is like a container to carry our expansion, experience and expect. And design brings more tolerance into existence. Town, where we live and work, is not ideal, and there are some disorder traffic and a lot of garbage, but it isn’t an obstacle for us to design a warm home. This is a home of the 1970s, witnessing the lives of generations. At this moment it seems to be reborn’.
The architects designed a semi-opened place on the first floor which blurs the boundary between indoor and outside. After renovation, the first isolated courtyard includes a new relation to the 3-story space. The semi-outdoor area adds enough heat to the living space. Sunshine, plants, interior, exterior, and blurry border allow spaces along with the entire life scene to change freely. A hole is booked in the courtyard, which can be where trees are intended to be planted in spring, that could accompany the kids when growing upward, signifying the value of the element of time would be to the layout. This space belongs to each scene of life, instead of being defined by functions. A modular furniture wall referred to as ‘life board’ is designed, which can be decorated or assembled with accessories in diverse ways. From this point of view, the future form of the style might be gradually shaped by daily life.
On the next floor, the door and the storage space are concealed beneath the wall, which creates a clean and total area. During bright days, it will be a warm family space. The child’s bed, desk, and storage space are attached via the design, which is quite lively as they can climb stairs and perform in the courtyard. This element brings a larger world to the children, letting them know about the changing world from a different dimension.
Following natural daylight, moving up across the steel stairs, we could see altered skylights, vertical lighting windows plus a pristine outside space. The entire building starts from light and vertical distance. To the primary bedroom, the slope structure of the original building is kept, the cloakroom and the toilet are unified to a box, booking the initial architectural type to the biggest extent and generating a new connection from the original space which is not large.