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nest-like workshop & exhibition space by YI+MU takes cues from spirituality

‘Shenzhen Qizhushe’ Workshop and Exhibition Space by YI+MU


Chinese practice YI+MU has completed ‘Shenzhen Qizhushe’, a workshop and exhibition space located in the Shenzhen Art Design Center, a converted factory from the 1980s. The project serves as a production hub for designers and artisans and a venue to display original furniture and related home accessories. 


Designed as a nest-like interior, ‘Shenzhen Qizhushe’ physically expresses the inner workings of spirituality. Indeed, ‘the whole space can be seen as a convergence of homes and a metaphoric representation of retreat, a place where lonely, wandering souls can find repose,’ notes the team. 

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all images © YI+MU DESIGN OFFICE



Breath of Light: Creating a Spiritual Experience


Using metaphor as a design technique, YI+MU has (see more here) organized the overall structure around a central column that symbolizes the unshakable ‘core’ of enlightenment. With the central column as the starting point, the layout extends outwards into a virtual, cross-like format, nodding to the repercussions of our inner framework.


The resulting spatial experience gives the impression of being inside a nest that gently diffuses the farther it reaches. This sense of decrescendo is emphasized by using strong lighting at the heart of the ‘nest’, symbolizing the inner shine of spirituality. Light is filtered through the nest’s wooden structure, generating a slow flicker that evokes the breaths of a living body and morphological changes of life forces.

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Wanting to keep the attention focused on the nest, lighting has been deliberately lowered at the corners of ‘Shenzhen Qizhushe’, allowing the ‘shine’ to diffuse solely from the center. ‘With the subtle swaying of light and shadow, the virtual and the real interlace, filling the space with a certain vitality and spirituality,’ reflects YI+MU. 

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a warm, nest-like core against a metallic gray backdrop 


Material-wise, the nest is made from wooden scraps discarded during furniture production, while the rest of the space reveals a dark-gray metallic backdrop. This sharp yet harmonious contrast is specifically punctuated by a 19-meter-long block of suspended mesh racks that runs through the entire warehouse. This juxtaposition of coldness and warmth reinforces the sense of belonging within the nest by creating a highly tense spatial order.


Access wise, YI+MU freed up an abundance of indoor space where designers can complete creative work and reception tasks, display their products, and engage in uninhibited customization. The workshop hub also holds a display wall of legacy furniture-production tools alongside samples of modern furniture materials. These are specially curated to encourage engagement and cultural interaction.

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project info:


name: Shenzhen Qizhushe Workshop and Exhibition Space
architecture: YI+MU DESIGN OFFICE

total area: 320 sqm 

completion date: April 2021

location: Shenzhen Art Design Center, China
lead designers: Yi Chen, Muchen Zhang
design team: Wujie Li, Zhiqiang Yang, Yi Xiao, Yanrong Yang, Xu Zhang

photography + video: YI+MU DESIGN OFFICE 

main materials: solid wood, self leveling of cement, metal mesh, metal plate



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: lea zeitoun | designboom

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