Nanhui, Pudong, Shanghai

The client for this project owns a slipper factory, exporting slippers to America, Europe, and Japan. The program called for two small houses—a weekend house for the client and a house for his employee, who lives onsite full time and manages the factory and its warehouse, which will be moved to this location.

Design concept and solution: The architect designed two houses that are carefully separated yet include closely interconnecting spaces. Structural brick walls remain unplastered, appearing from the outside as a cluster of rooms with different heights. Inside, the kitchen and courtyards of each family’s house surround four corners of a large central table shared by both houses. Each family cooks facing the other, and eats together if desired.

Both houses contain a collection of 10-by-10-feet rooms with openings that connect both to each another and to the other house in a variety of ways. Other similarities between the houses include angled views that cut diagonally through the center of each house, as well as several window openings that look out onto comparable views.


Owner: C. Z. Zhang

Completion Date: March 2010

Gross square footage: 171 sqm

Total construction cost: withheld

KUU, 32 Fuxing West Road, #102
Shanghai 200031, China
Tel 86-21-64337792

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
K. M. Tan, Satoko Saeki

Interior designer: KUU

General contractor: Sun Fei Gumi



Structural system: Load-bearing brickwall

Exterior cladding
Masonry: re-used red bricks

Elastomeric: roll-form membrane

Wood: painted ash

Glass: clear glass