Apt #7


The apartment is located on the top floor of an old 4-storey mid-rise in central Shanghai that was originally constructed for and occupied by one family in the 1930s. While the rest of the street has been developed into residential compounds and offices, this little remnant of the past has retained the charm of old Shanghai, while enjoying all the conveniences of a quickly developing neighborhood. Apartment 7 brings a freshness to the street façade by nestling a glass box into the existing structure.

Through some clever space planning, the 85sqm apartment has been completely transformed into two main areas, a public and a private zone. The living, dining and kitchen area is a generous and open social space for the owners who love to entertain. The private area, wich consists of a small study and two bedrooms, is tucked away behind.

A white volume forms the backdrop to all the social activities in the public area, and is used as a key organizing element. It contains all the functional programs, including display shelves, kitchen equipment, washroom, bathroom and storage. In contrast to the white volume, a black framed shelf incorporates the two existing windows. However, the real focal point of this public zone is the central island where most of the social activities take place.

Another black metal frame marks the thresholds of the living room, on the one side defining this soft leisurely space from the adjacent kitchen, and on the other side, framing a view of the bamboo garden outside. The timber ceiling brings warmth to the otherwise cooler material palette, while also representing the underside of the wood decked roof terrace above.

The roof terrace occupies the entire footprint of the building and takes advantage of a 360 degree city view. A continuous wood deck blankets the entire floor, with volumes folding up and poping out of the surface. The largest wooden volume in the center is a part-screen-and-part-trellis structure that acts as a small bar for social gatherings. The smaller wood planters shield from street traffic and neighboring buildings, turning this roof space into a real urban oasis.
Photos credit:

no. 2-13 by Tristan Chapuis

no. 1 &14 by Christina Luk