mozhao architects renovates old dormitories into lively social housing in shenzhen

mozhao architects renovates old dormitories into lively social housing in shenzhen

mozhao architects renovated a factory’s dormitories building into a contemporary social housing project, the jiakeli apartments. located in the quanzhi technology innovation park in the bao’an district of shenzhen, china, the project won the best award for social housing in the 2019 architecture masterprize. the previously vacant dormitories saw the recent influx of white-collar workers to the area, and became an attractive living option complete with numerous amenities that create a strong sense of community. 



mozhao architects’ renovation hopes to not only improve the quality of original space, but also create a diverse and lively community. the original 10,000㎡ dormitories included three buildings: two buildings with the same layout of internal corridors and an L-shaped building with an external corridor. the two buildings were linked through an elevator hall between them. one of the staircases was transformed into two elevators due to the connectivity of evacuation after the combination.



the dormitory’s spaces before renovation only met the sleeping requirement and the area was small and crowded. as a result, mozhao architects enlarged the interior spaces by adding steel balconies that cantilever from the concrete structure. the different units’ balconies are divided with colored partition walls. the colors of red, yellow and grey, were randomly arranged throughout the facade, creating a fun and energetic aesthetic.



to cover outdoor air conditioning systems, the architects also added aluminum gratings with changing horizontal and vertical directions. these alternating grains paired with the colored walls create a dynamic facade. the form of the handrails responds to the gratings’ direction, the handrails themselves are a combination of circular tubes made of stainless steel.



the whole apartment’s facade renovation is the result of the construction of a series of new functional components. in addition, vertical grids and climbing plants were added to the external corridor of block ‘a’ on the basis of the existing shape, which brings green space to the external corridor.



mazhao architects carefully explored people’s living habits at a human scale, so each living program in the units is compactly and orderly arranged in the small interior space. each apartment includes spaces for storing, studying and working, rest, casual dining, cooking and a bathroom. all spaces are designed with specific sizes of fixed furniture, movable furniture and household appliances, maximizing the use of space. different material textures and the mix of colors in the interior design create a comfortable and pleasant living atmosphere.



the main room type of block ‘b’ is a modern single room, with light wood furnishings and sophisticated grey tiles covering several walls. there are also one-bedroom units and two-bedroom units at both ends of the building, which have better natural lighting conditions. the main room type of block ‘a’ is the one-bedroom unit. living rooms are near the external corridor, making the corridor a public space for connecting each living unit.



engaging social areas were added to the building, including transforming the roof terrace on block ‘a’ into an open outdoor basketball court. and the adjacent, external corridor became the stands from where people can watch a basketball game.  the whole second floor of block ‘a’ also includes other public programs, such as communication hall, shared kitchen, fitness space, audio-visual recreation, roof-top basketball court and outdoor courtyard. these public spaces not only improve the living conditions, but also bring the community together, enriching the residents’ social life.



project info:


design: mozhao architects

project name: jiakeli apartment renovation

category: apartment, commercial

project location: quanzhi technology innovation park, bao’an district, shenzhen

client: shenzhen jialingyu industrial limited company

design year & completion year: 2015/2018

area: 10,000㎡

lead architect: guansheng zeng

architecture design: wenguo luo, junyu tao, keren li, fan zhang | yuxiang huang, minhao liu

landscape design: wenguo luo, junyu tao, die hu

interior design: wenguo luo, junyu tao, keren li, ziyun mai | minhao liu vi

design consultant: sure

photo credits: chao zhang

material: aluminum plate, stainless steel, oak wood



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.

edited by: cristina gomez | designboom

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