项目背景及思考 Project background and reflection
At the beginning of the 2000s, a kind of independent self-built residential houses in the form of “small houses” emerged in domestic towns and villages, mostly derived from the imported foreign house architectural system. In contrast, the stock of such houses generally showed a high degree of collectivization and formalization, and most of the internal space was not reasonably individualized, and function was paramount. Over time, these houses are aging, dilapidated, leaking, and rotting walls and the demand for personalized quality of life has posed a new challenge to these private houses.
This project is located on the outskirts of Shanghai, close to the city subway line and surrounded by its own original natural landscape, which is, to some extent, a rare suburban living environment. However, the owners have not spent much time living here. On the one hand, the original houses do not give the corresponding inherent comfort, and on the other hand, many of the surrounding buildings have been marginalized by the owners for renting, which weakens the proper neighborhood atmosphere, and we believe this is a kind of neglected “treasure house.”
This building is a small three-story self-built building with a single floor area of less than 70 square meters and is a typical prototype of this type of residence. We summarize it as the contradiction between the formal façade of a “house” and the low-quality space inside. With this as a model for research, Y.AN tries to use effective and restrained means to make the old house new and obtain real quality improvement both inside and outside, instead of a ”beautiful, refreshing project” to cover up the real contradiction. We are hoping to explore the inherent plasticity and residential value of self-built residential houses.
设计概念 Design concept
Y.AN hopes to respond to the existing conflicts with as few means as possible and activate the intrinsic value of the renewed old house. Under the premise of satisfying the basic functional comfort, we implanted a spatial connector that is sufficient to carry family communication and interaction, allow free organization and exploration, and feel the temporal nature.
The area of the original house is relatively limited on one floor, so strategically, I regulated the scale of each function to be reasonable, and at the same time gave enough space for special functional places to experience, and created a public space in the interior that is beyond the usual scale. In the small house, we cut an opening and reshaped the spatial movement line together with the introduction of natural light on each floor to create a space of extraordinary scale with three height levels. The staircase is no longer a single traffic attribute but a place with the scale of a street. The “alley” connects multiple floors in a series, satisfying functionality while carrying human connection, maximizing publicness, communication and naturalness. This is the spiritual core of a small home, which we call the well alley.
改造思路 Remodeling ideas
On the wholeness, we try to find the two-way interaction between people and space, using a simple and restrained approach, giving up the content of decoration, symbols, and forms as much as possible, allowing space to return to transparency and freedom, allowing life to return to simplicity and truth. Find the essential power of space, restore the daily life and the essence of spirituality.
In the space, materials, furniture, and soft furnishings are restrained and quantified, and the materials used are summarized as three to four materials, while we designed the furniture for several key parts of the project to have a clearer spatial temperament.
The exterior of the building is expected to be quiet and introverted. The original exterior wall decorated with an iron fence shapes the boundary but has no sense of place and opens directly to the gate, which is directly abrupt. We reshaped the exterior wall, controlling the height of the wall to isolate the unfavorable view from the outside, forming a small independent courtyard with a sense of space and hierarchy, which is inward-looking. Secondly, we slimmed down the exterior wall, removed unnecessary decorative elements, and at the same time responded to the real contradiction of the original exterior wall itself, such as insulation and waterproof aging, and chose new pegboard material with durability and self-cleaning to give the old house a “new coat.” The new plywood material effectively avoids resource consumption caused by secondary demolition, while the dry hanging practice produces an air circulation layer, which effectively improves the heat insulation of the old house. At the same time, the formalized roof of the original building did not have a normal use scale inside, and the form was greater than the function. We demolished and reshaped it, and adjusted it to a two-way sloping roof to produce a real use space, and finally, we reorganized the relationship between the doors and windows in response to the external landscape and the internal use function scene, so that each window opening is like a picture frame, with one step and one scene, producing a rich and delicate feeling in the space.
The interior of the building is expected to be small and cavernous. The original interior space is not sufficiently orderly, with mixed functions, interfering dynamic lines, and no logic and the multi-floor floor is cut flat and lacks spatial interaction. In particular, the door entry and staircase location directly affected the space, and the first-floor bathroom was also a serious waste. On the one hand, in the vertical dimension, we use the new staircase combined with natural light to shape the street exchange experience space as the main axis of the space, and at the same time, we effectively connect the different living scenes of multiple levels. On the other hand, in the horizontal dimension, we think about the most suitable feeling for each functional place and define the correlation and privacy of multiple spaces through the means of glass to ensure the permeability and expansion of the space, and at the same time to produce a rich living scene which is independent and interactive.
空间策略 Space strategy
On the first floor, the designer adjusted the position of the entrance door and the staircase to create an active line of the entrance with light and shadow landscape while cutting out a living area independent of the active line of space. With adjusting the staircase and the bathroom storage room for functional compounding, the living space is given maximum freedom. The horizontal living room with maximum horizontal freedom, the dining room with two-story high experience, and the Chinese and Western kitchen with large operating space provides the best spatial experience for each functional area.
The space makes use of half-height walls and wall windows to allow for greater spatial expandability while being both independent and interconnected, generating some interesting small scenarios. With the half-wall gap, natural light penetrates the interior, allowing mutual visual interaction with the living area when going up and downstairs, and the light-transmitting wall strip window allows the hostess to interact with the host male in the living room when she is cooking.
The second floor is an inward-looking living space where the owner kept the mahogany furniture handed down from his ancestors. We chose dark charcoal black flooring to enhance the heritage of the space, hoping to find a balance between traditional furniture and modern living. In the “alley” and the bedroom, we used the space to create a transitional space, the second level of the home’s living space, where you can read, relax and interact, while above the staircase platform, we created a small independent balcony, elevating the natural level of the staircase alley to the small world of the male owner.
The third floor is the purest and most natural and spiritual place in the space, where we remove as much as possible the superfluous decorative elements, the height of the eaves is lowered. The natural skylight is added; it is quiet and introspective enough, we hope to be closer to the scene, closer to the sky, when you sit on the ground, there is only the sky, the treetops, the light and shadow in front of you, everything feels quiet.
This is a small home, a resting place that carries time change and family communication, where there is light, shadow, and sound, which is real life.
Architect firm: Y.AN DESIGN STUDIO
Completion Date: 2021.11
Structure engineer: Zhang Ya Xiong
Photographer: Lv Xiao Bing
Interior renovation construction: Shanghai Taiqi commerce Co., Ltd. 、Shanghai Qiyue Building Decoration Co., Ltd.
Key Materials: Oak wood，White latex paint，Terrazzo，Washed stone
Furniture：Y.an Design 、Fnji、ziinlife、JOLOR、Gabo
Lighting consultant：Mr. Cactus lighting