Home' Scoop Homes and Art : SHA 29 Winter 2011 Contents AD
Architectu ral fi rm Kokaistudios par tnered with German applia nce bran d
Miele to revamp a 1930s villa in Shanghai. Architects Andrea Destefanis and
Filippo Gabbiani chat about breathing new life into a heritage building.
What’s so special about this re novation? It’s something n ew, in novative
an d challen ging. Not a stan dard ho me, but a living space, where the fo cu s is
o n the ex perience mo re than on the produ cts.
What elements of the original design did you keep? The villa was
design ed by Robert Fan, o ne of the fi rst Western -train ed profession al
Chinese a rchitects. H e mixed tradition al Chin ese decoratio ns with the
modern co n stru ctio n technique of his time.
How do you blend 1930s and modern? We were not really trying to blend
the two, but to be respectful. Inside, we created a large mu lti- use box, which
sn eaks bet ween the o rigin al walls of the villa, without tou ching the flo or or
the original decorative wood ceiling.
The renovation’s best features? An art and craft metal panel on the facade.
Its pattern is inspired by the villa’s original decorations and by Miele’s heritage
– it recalls the shape of the wheels of a cream separator, Miele’s first product.
What’s the attitude towards restoration in Shanghai? There is always
argument in the field of heritage restoration in China , especially in
Shanghai. Since our first project, Bund18, we try to establish a more
integrated o r balan ced way to prese rve significant histo rical elements
of heritage buildings, while at the same time conver ting them to address
modern functional requirements.
Any building you would love to re novate but have n’t got your hands on?
The old Shanghai abattoir in H on gkou district, on e of the most impressive
buildings we’ve ever seen . B ut so meon e already ren ovated it. It’s called
Shan ghai 1933 n ow. Visit www.kokaistudios.com.
MAKING A MIELE OUT OF IT
MADE MAN Contrary to that old urban myth, there’s much more to
‘ Made in China’ than sh oddy copies. Click on to photog rapher Lio nel Derimais’
website – n icelymad einchina.com – w hich showc ases work by some of the b est
young designers and emerging bran ds in China.
Andrea Destefanis and Filippo
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