Project NameA white house, a growing home
Project TeamRIGI Design
|Project Name||A white house, a growing home||Posted in||Residential||Location||
|Project Team||RIGI Design||Area (sqm)||240||Completed||November 2017|
Lyrically called A white house, a growing home, this three-storey family residence, part of a 1940’s row house development in Shanghai, China, has been elegantly renovated by Chinese studio RIGI Design with meticulous attention to detail and thoughtful consideration for the evolving needs of a growing family.
With a constrained footprint of 15 meters depth and facades of only 5.5 meters, the main challenge for chief designer Liu Kai was to bring daylight into the heart of the building. To achieve this, the original walled-in stairwell on the north side of the house has been replaced by a new, centrally located open staircase, which functions as a light well and connects all three floors. As Liu explains, "the whole building starts from light and vertical space". Made out of perforated sheet metal, the slender staircase filters down the light that floods in from the skylight above and the adjacent windows on the upper floors, and in conjunction with enlarged glazed areas on both facades, ensures that all the spaces in the house are generously lit.
On the ground floor, an open-plan layout incorporates the kitchen, dining and living areas into a single, elongated space that opens up to a courtyard through a sunroom extension. The space features a modular wall, which the designers call a "life board", that allows the rearrangement of shelves and accessories through a matrix of punched holes. A similar modular structure was also designed for the master bedroom on the top floor which also features an en suite bathroom and a walk-in wardrobe that have been incorporated into the box-shaped volume.
In fact there is a modular sensibility running throughout the interiors, from the modular sofa in the living room to the slim railings that run along the top of the walls and which are used to hang, among other things, mirrors and towel racks in the bathrooms, shelving and utensils in the kitchen and clothes hangers in the bedroom.
A predominantly white colour palette accompanied with natural wood and light grey finishes, gives the interiors an ambience of serenity and perfectly complements the design's modularity by creating a figurative blank canvas for the owners to personalize in their own style. In Liu’s words, “a house is like a container to carry our growth, experience and hope”.
The interior design is rounded off by the predominant use of concealed lighting, frameless doors, and a minimalist approach to furnishings, creating a modern environment of both comfort and elegance, while playful touches like doors with rounded tops, rounded wall corners, and house-shaped motifs, including a garden shed where a hole in the ground awaits the planting of a tree that will grow along with the family’s child, establish a distinct aesthetic that speaks equally eloquently to both kids and grownups.