Rethinking the Split House in Shanghai

The magical lane houses, which were once the dominant fabric that made urban Shanghai the intoxicating place that it was in the 1930s, are now slowly being demolished, taken over by high-density developments all over the city.Neri & Hu Design and Research Office was commissioned to reconstruct a dilapidated lane house left with almost nothing except its glorious shell in the historic and artistic Tianzifang area in Shanghai, and the mission was to transform it into three separate apartment units.

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Neri&Hu’s strategy was to rethink the typology of the lane house–keeping the split level formation, a typical trait to lane houses in this city, and add spatial interest through new insertions and skylights to accentuate the architectural integrity of such a typology, contemporizing it for today’s lifestyle.

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