Chinese studio Wutopia Lab has converted a historic building in Shanghai into a modern office space for a video company. Working with a limited budget and faced with various regulatory constraints, the team made subtle changes that visually separate the main building from several illegal structures built around it over the years. Referencing the creative work of the company, two intersecting circles create a "third eye" which, according to Chinese tradition, represents outstanding talent.
The office space is nestled within a historic building-the former residence of a general and member of a Chinese political party that ruled China until the 1950s. Over the years, several additional buildings were constructed around the original. If any of these are demolished, none are allowed to take their place.
The architects kept the surrounding structures, painting them all in black to distinguish them from the residence. Black details on the central building unify the site into a coherent whole. The most interesting intervention was done to the porch opposite the main entrance. Two intersecting circles create a blue “third eye” that represents supernatural talent, allowing one to perceive things that elude the average person.
Photos by CreatAR (Ai Qing, Mao Yinchen)