La Casetta settles into a longitudinal residential building from beginning of last century close to Xintiandi in Shanghai. This dwelling compressed the former residence of Huan Bing Hong, one of China’s best loved artist and its arcs draw a very particular grey brick façade giving a rhythm to the long front which is often broken by different windows added within the time.
This controversial typology explores the relationship between the public and private space. The different rooms would divide the space in search of privacy and this is the start point. Search the privacy in a public space.
1 The Patio. The front courtyard faces south and indeed it is the ‘in between’ space by definition. The buffer, fully covered with wood, allows the curiosity of pedestrian yet keeps privacy inside. The rhythm on the walls makes the necessary transparency to see and to be seen. The visual from the sidewalk towards inside connects these 3 different spaces with an end on the white room, the bar and its patterned wall.
There is no visual at all for those who drive or walk on the opposite side. The Logo Wall built on steel and wood makes the fence thick enough to not allow a clear vision although gets the attention.
2 The corridor. Naturally conceive to connect different rooms in our case became the heart of the space. Server-servant spaces collapse into this narrow space where secret doors are opened to the bar, existing windows remained to show kitchen and the cashier is hidden underneath the staircase. This last one would welcome the guest and drive them all to the second open layout room. The rooms are divide with a glass which also makes the bar to become a display cage.
3 The open layout. The original plan divided the space in 3 rooms and a corridor alongside the stair. These rooms open both to the street and the interior courtyard. Wet core is widely open to the space and the street instead being enclosed. Not only users will look through the window instead of front mirroring themselves there will be also a strong connection between the whole. A monumental architecture contains the few things without visual connection; bathroom and equipment. It is shaped following the project image. A metal screen offers a double circulation and keeps open the space. The ceiling follows the roof to keep the section clear and empty. Both arcs through the façade are entirely glass creating a strong relationship with the patio.
4. The private room. The back of the building host the most private spaces; the kitchen on the first floor and the private dining room on the second floor. A small white stone garden and a skylight make this in between space quietly enough yet eye-catching.
Partner in charge Jorge Gonzalez