Practice in City

Practice in City

Architect
Mur Mur Lab
Location
Shanghai, China | View Map
Project Year
2020
Category
Shops
©WDi

Practice in City

Mur Mur Lab as Architects

Practice in the City, located in Shanghai, China, is the very first "Future Store" of the online psychological consultation platform KnowYourself designed by Mur Mur Lab. The challenge of creating an offline experience space for an online platform was addressed through the use of organic and geometric forms, exploring the relationship between body, mind, and space. The design enhances one’s physical and emotional awareness of the space while ensuring more functional requirements are taken into account.

Like all buildings in this historical city center, the existing building is narrow and complex. Practice in City operates on the second and fourth floors connected by a private staircase. The space contains three yoga rooms, a VIP zone, and a meeting room. The building is higher than the surrounding houses, creating an overlook from the fourth floor. Looking out from the second-floor windows reveals Julu Road, a bustling and lively pedestrian street. 

We started with the concept of "city cave", creating a shelter that protects and compels visitors to explore. A blue staircase at the entrance invites one to climb into the “cave” without hazard and stress. In order to simulate the natural environment and express emotions, we used curves and shapes abstracted from nature as well as a combination of natural and artificial light. The hallway is lit by linear artificial lights that spill from gaps on the wall. The light and shadow created by tree shades pass through the hole and fill the entire room.

The VIP zone, located in the corner of the second floor, is the smallest and most challenging space to use. It is long and narrow, with a pillar in the middle. We thus used the pillars as the demarcation point, and added a step to divide the space into two. The scale of the space encourages people to sit down. The floor-to-ceiling window is reduced to a small square, corresponding with the divided and illuminated wall. Through observation, this tiny room is being perceived and used in the way we expected. At the top of the stairs, a symbolic “eye” sculpture makes eye contact with everyone who enters the space, creating an emotional experience as one reaches the fourth floor.

Engaging with natural experiences was the original intention of our design and it motivated us to extract geometric forms from nature. We then abstracted these forms to bring the natural experience into the interior space. This is how we defined nature. It can connect a physical experience manifest from technical knowledge and construction. It was our goal to realize it at a reasonable cost to our client.

Practice in City is an expression of these values and a successful showcase of what we think of as the future store.

 

Material Used :
1. Facade cladding: Dagu Cement, DAGU
2. Flooring: ZESTMAN

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