M.Y.Lab Wood Workshop Shanghai Spatial Renovation, Chinese Architecture Interior

Spatial Renovation of M.Y.Lab Wood Workshop in Shanghai

New Changning District Building in China design by Continuation Studio Architects

15 Mar 2019

M.Y.Lab Wood Workshop Shanghai Spatial Renovation

Design: Continuation Studio Architects

Location: 1205 Kaixuan Road, Changning District, Shanghai, China

Excavating Lost Craft in City – Spatial Renovation of M.Y.Lab Wood Workshop in Shanghai

Spatial Renovation of M.Y.Lab Wood Workshop in Shanghai

Photos by SHIROMIO Studio

The M.Y.Lab Wood Workshop is located on the first floor of a warehouse, which used to be the Dongfeng Sofa Factory in Changning District, Shanghai. Adjacent to the warehouse, it is stood a new-built 150 m2 attached room, forming a triangle lacunain-between. The task is to refurbish the 300 m2 one-storey warehouse into a two-storey commercial space, which is to be operated as a wood crafting learning centre.

Spatial Renovation of M.Y.Lab Wood Workshop in Shanghai

First Impression
What left the most impression in the site on the first visit was, instead of the space itself, the overground separated from the old warehouse by just the warehouse’s enclosure. Trains pass through the overground rail every other minute or so, leaving loud rumblings behind echoing in the place, as a reminder of the long way of globalisation and modernisation this city has come.

Spatial Renovation of M.Y.Lab Wood Workshop in Shanghai

In addition, to the south of the site, a whole block of interior pavement left by a demolished market signifies, as a historical monument, the city’s progression on self-renovation. All in this very place, the past, present and future is gathered and revealed.

Spatial Renovation of M.Y.Lab Wood Workshop in Shanghai

As the nostalgia atmosphere deepens, wood crafting centre, the future role that this space will play, is tasked with a similar subject. Wood crafting, as a conventional technique that left behind by our modernised urban lifestyle, is in need to be rediscovered as a piece of treasure lost in time.

Spatial Renovation of M.Y.Lab Wood Workshop in Shanghai

‘Archaeological Excavation Site’
This design proposed an implantation of an ‘archaeological excavation site’ recreation into the original space with the height of 5 metres. The main wood crafting room is forged into a secluded space, by being positioned on the sunken floor behind the entrance wall, enclosed by a low wall made of terrazzo.

Spatial Renovation of M.Y.Lab Wood Workshop Shanghai

Above this space lays a massive pent roof, formed by a black metal mesh. From the top of the ramp, sunlight spills into the room, endowing it with the beauty of ritual.

M.Y.Lab Wood Workshop Shanghai Spatial Renovation

The staircase attached to the entrance wall leads to the corridor on the first floor, where visitors can lean against the fences, overlooking the entire ‘archaeological site’, where the wood crafting operations are on display. Visitors can also work on their projects, or simply have some reading or a chat using the crafting tables by the window.

M.Y.Lab Wood Workshop Shanghai Spatial Renovation

After the formation of the main space, next is to design its interfaces separating it from other spaces. Three of the most common materials, metal sheets coated with black fluorocarbon, oak panels and white paint, are put in use. Along with the terrazzo floorings and walls in the main space, as well as the black metal ceiling above, a harmonious theme of materials and colours is constituted.

M.Y.Lab Wood Workshop Shanghai Spatial Renovation

‘Arch Bridge’ at the Entrance
A narrow and lofty corridor is set as the entrance to the main space. On the wooden wall, a series of display cabinets and LED screens are installed continuously. Meanwhile, a space under the screen closest to the entrance is designed for exhibiting furniture works.

M.Y.Lab Wood Workshop Shanghai Spatial Renovation

Facing the other end of the corridor, there is the reception. High above which, it is installed a set of timber structure, taking inspiration from the traditional timber arch bridge. It also reveals part of its side to visitors’ first glimpse on their way in, implying the awakening of traditional crafting techniques.

M.Y.Lab Wood Workshop Shanghai Spatial Renovation

Spatial Planning above the Pent Roof
Utilising the triangle space formed by the slopping ceiling of the main space, a two-step terrace is designed into the classroom on the second floor, increasing its internal area. The triangle void also provides a hidden space to locate other practical equipment, such as air conditioners, in order to purify the appearance of the interior surfaces.

M.Y.Lab Wood Workshop Shanghai building

Two Black Boxes
In addition, two black metal “boxes” are introduced into the route. One, with a staircase inside, is located between the two storeys as a transportation junction, whose tilted top parallels the form of the ceiling in the main space. The other “box”, functioning as the tearoom, is located between the attached room and its yard as a pathway. Half of the box interlocks with the interior, bringing into the space formative diversity. While the other half is exposed in the yard, with a niche-like space for resting right under a skyline. During breaks, students can have a bit of time with themselves in this nook.

Floating Structures
In order to enhance the visual sensation of floating of the second storey, the load-bearing structures design for the added interlayer has become a significant matter. The solution is to lift up the primary beams of the second floor with only five columns, two of which are hidden within walls. Multi-ribbed secondary beams grow out from the primary beams, attaching to the original walls as reinforcements. As a result, the second floor’s load bearing is accomplished by both the walls and five columns, leaving the entire main space seemingly lightsome.

M.Y.Lab Wood Workshop Shanghai Spatial Renovation

M.Y.Lab Wood Workshop Shanghai Renovation – Building Information

Architects: Continuation Studio
Lead Architects: Fan Jiu-Jiang, Zhai Wen-Ting, Chen Kai-Xiong, Li Ting, Sun Fu-Dong, Chen Liu-Fen, Lyu Shuang-Er, Zhu Wei-Nan (Intern)
Location: 1205 Kaixuan Road, Changning District, Shanghai, China
Area: Approx. 450 m2 (Interior)
Genre: Architecture Renovation / Spatial Design
Design Duration: 10/2016 – 12/2016
Completed Time: 06/2017
Client: M.Y.Lab
Consultants: Neng Xiao-Wen

Photographs: SHIROMIO Studio

Chinese text:

M.Y.Lab Shanghai











Spatial Renovation of M.Y.Lab Wood Workshop in Shanghai images / information received 150319

Location: 1205 Kaixuan Road, Changning District, Shanghai, China

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