URBANUS renovates three-story residence from the 80s in guangzhou, china

URBANUS renovates three-story residence from the 80s in guangzhou, china

URBANUS has renovated a three-story residence originally built in 1985 in the mengsheng community of the haizhu district, a traditional and residential area in downtown guangzhou, china. located in a deep, narrow alley in shengmeng street, the house suffered from limited living space, lack of natural light, extreme proximity to neighboring properties, poor thermal performance, and structural dangers prior to the refurbishment. through the renovation, the 80 square meter building has acquired a distinctive character that continues to exist in harmony with its surroundings, while interiors have become brighter, more serene and livable.

images by zhang chao, meng yan, jiang qingzhou, zhang chaoxian



URBANUS started the renovation by reorganizing the living spaces of each 22 square meter floor plan, carving out interconnected rooms and making sure that they all received plenty of natural light and ventilation through a series of strategically placed windows and skylights. the living room and kitchen have been placed on the first floor, where much of the furniture has been built-in to save space and create more possibilities. to reinforce the overall structure and ease vertical circulation, the studio has replaced the original single-run steep staircase with a comfortable double one. a newly constructed transparent room and terrace on the top floor offer panoramic views of the city, and a flexible space for several activities.



on the exterior, the building is covered in maroon tiles that reference the original brickwork property, while the structure has been reinforced using the walls of the north and south sides, where more windows are placed. additionally, a steel slab has been placed inside and outside the wall for local reinforcement, while only the east side wall is internally reinforced. five steel columns and various beams are also implanted in corresponding positions to join the new structure, form a stable joint construction.



project info:


name: serene residence in a bustling city: the renovation of a little house in a historical neighborhood of guangzhou
client: dragon TV
architect: URBANUS
location: the 18 shang meng sheng street of the guangzhou meng sheng community
design: april-july 2018
construction: july-october 2018
site area: 27.9 sqm
floor area: 96.4 sqm
building levels: 4 floors
building height: 12.7 m
building function: housing


principal architect: meng yan
project architect: jiang qingzhou
team: zhang chaoxian


(LDI) structure/ MEP (mechanical, electrical, plumbing): beijing century peak international architecture design co., ltd.; china building design consultants, shenzhen


photographers: zhang chao, meng yan, jiang qingzhou, zhang chaoxian

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    492,661 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample