L&M DESIGN LAB Shanghai Office

L&M DESIGN LAB Shanghai Office

L&M Design Lab
Zhong Shan Bei Lu, Putuo Qu, Shanghai, China | View Map
Project Year
Hu Yijie

Office renovation with “logic belt” and “magic belt”

L&M Design Lab as Architects

L&M DESIGN LAB recently completed the renovation of its office in Shanghai. After one month, a ground-floor flat in 90s residential neighborhood was transformed to a modern and contemporary office.The “time tunnel” brings both lightness and vitality into the once dark, narrow flat, invoking a feeling of dream and fantasy.

The original flat had a linear layout (3.3 meters wide, 20 meters deep) with two rooms and one dark little patio. The poor lighting and ventilation condition and cramped space made it difficult to be connected with the idea of a pioneer studio.

Mirror Bridge

Conflict appears to be a necessary driving force for innovation.To face the biggest problem "long" and "dark", whether to separate the space or use artificial light is not the best way. The vision is to maintain the unique linear experience and optimize spatial scales as well as maximize the reflection of natural light.

How to reflect the precious sunlight on the ground floor indoors as much as possible?

How to avoid the glare caused by direct reflection to the office area?

How to make the dull walkway more entertaining and enjoyable?

What is coming out is a twisted mirror polished stainless steel, a brilliant silvery vortex!

The twisted metal surface allows the light to be reflected multiple times indoors, increasing the illumination as well ascreating a magic time-tunnel experience. Meanwhile, the open work area allows the air flow through windows on both sides, which improves the indoor environmentsignificantly.

After determining the overall design direction, a series of structure studies optimized the construction logic of the stainless steel itself. The form of the ground-supported portion and the tension of its shape partially reduced the difficulty of construction.

Integrate the design philosophy into the house

The twisted mirror polished stainless steel vortex connects the north and south, solving the lighting, ventilation and scale problems in one single step. However, this does not mean the end of the design since the organization of service space was not perfect for a design studio. Practicality and rationality are equally important compared to dreams and romance.

The design attempts to convey the philosophy: Logic & Magic (follow the logic, create the magic) through rational arrangement of service spaces.

In this case, it is natural to connect the meeting room with kitchen and courtyard. If we compare the mirror polished stainless steel bridge to a “magic belt”, then the circular storage space may be the “logic belt” that integrate many practical functions.

The combination of “logic belt” and “magic belt” bring new life to the old flat.

The surrounding scenery is incorporated into the “magic belt” and flows into the interior along its surface.

The vortex gradually shrinks in the lounge area and form the fishtail bar in the end, which not only realizes the function but also avoids direct sight from the entrance to the workplace.

Different from the traditional obstructive scenery, the material and curvature of the silvery vortex make it reflect the extraordinary dimensionality of the surrounding space, both modern and magic.

The renovation of L&M DESIGN LAB give an example of how Shanghai's 40 million square meters of stock housing can be transformed and how design can activate and bring vitality to our everyday life.

Project Credits
Vibo Tværvej
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