lukstudio forms office around a chimonanthus tree in shanghai lukstudio forms office around a chimonanthus tree in shanghai
dec 29, 2014

lukstudio forms office around a chimonanthus tree in shanghai

lukstudio forms office around a chimonanthus tree in shanghai
photo © peter dixie / LOTAN architectural photography
all images courtesy of lukstudio

 

 

 

lukstudio believes that ‘valued moments in architecture are manifested through the synthesis of the exterior with the interior. in an urban context, these instances are often public and ephemeral, noticed only through the interplay of dappling sunrays, shifting shadows and passing breeze as one strolls down the street. however, sometimes, our encounter of nature can be more intimate and permanent.’ in the firm’s ‘office around a tree’ project, the moment of permanence came rooted in a forgotten courtyard, occupied by an old chimonanthus tree, also known also as a ‘wintersweet’.

 


video courtesy of lukstudio

 

 

 

the site is located in a li-long – a typical late 19th century shanghai neighborhood characterized by the laneways that connect the history, buildings, inhabitants, and gossips within. over the years, this wintersweet witnessed the passage of time while surviving numerous abuses and a lack of maintenance. the studio wants it to be the building’s secret, but more importantly, they want to protect it. thus, they have created a buffer to the laneways, starting with a large glazed door framed in a stainless steel lined porch, followed by a series of spaces that includes a foyer gallery, utility rooms, and pantry.

lukstudio office around a tree shanghai china designboom
in praise of natural light
photo © peter dixie / LOTAN architectural photography

 

 

 

the programs that are most heavily occupied, such as the conference room and working area, surround the plant. a floor-to-ceiling double-glazing enclosure allows the tree to be omnipresent. additionally, the vegetation has been brought inside by capturing its shadows. a light color palette was decided for all interior surfaces, including fixtures and furniture, transforming the atmosphere into a projection screen and constantly presenting a display of foliage and sunlight.

lukstudio office around a tree shanghai china designboom
conference room
photo © peter dixie / LOTAN architectural photography

lukstudio office around a tree shanghai china designboom
the patio
photo © peter dixie / LOTAN architectural photography

 

 

 

contrasting with the rooted nature of the wintersweet, desks in the main working area cantilever off the wall. the unobstructed legroom is ensured by a partition storage unit for all computer stations and a multi-functional cable tray system composed of stackable stationery holders. in line with the airy approach, walls are clad with white pegboard where different items can be hung: a flexible system providing more functional surface area for creative use.

lukstudio office around a tree shanghai china designboom
flexible pegboard wall
photo © peter dixie / LOTAN architectural photography

lukstudio office around a tree shanghai china designboom
working area
photo © peter dixie / LOTAN architectural photography

 

 

 

‘to witness how this abandoned lane house transformed into our studio space has been a fruitful learning experience. the wintersweet now regains its purpose to integrate nature with man-made interiors and we enjoy it as a moment of architecture in our everyday,’ says founder christina luk.

lukstudio office around a tree shanghai china designboom
cantilevered desks
photo © peter dixie / LOTAN architectural photography

lukstudio office around a tree shanghai china designboom
edge of the glazing
photo © peter dixie / LOTAN architectural photography 

lukstudio office around a tree shanghai china designboom
in the office
photo © peter dixie / LOTAN architectural photography

lukstudio office around a tree shanghai china designboom
logo
photo © peter dixie / LOTAN architectural photography

lukstudio office around a tree shanghai china designboom
front façade
photo © peter dixie / LOTAN architectural photography

lukstudio office around a tree shanghai china designboom
integration into the local context
photo © peter dixie / LOTAN architectural photography

 

 

project info:

 

name: office around a tree
area: 133 m2
scope: architecture, interior design, custom furniture, and lighting design
design: december 2013 – january 2014
construction: february – april 2014
team: christina luk, wesley shu, scott baker, mavis li
photography: peter dixie for LOTAN architectural photography
general contractor: shanghai dong yuan
furniture supplier: hay, paustian, fermob
lighting supplier: tons

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here. 

  • What a fantastic space. It would be a joy to work in this environment.
    A jewel of a project.

    Ron Smith says:
  • Thank you for your compliment Ron. It is indeed a great place to work in!

    Pao says:
  • I want this office!

    Dinesh Korjan says:

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