Recently, Liu Jinrui and his team have finished an apartment renovation in suburban of Shanghai, for a family of parents and their quadruplets. Instead of being located on the central area of Shanghai, their home lies in suburban area where public service facilities aren’t convenient.
▼室内空间一览，overall view of the interior space
Our home is far away from metro station, and it takes a long way to get to Huangpu River. In Shanghai, a super big city, our home turns out to be so small, surrounded by numerous farmhouses. —-the quadruplets
▼四胞胎还有一个姐姐，一家七口生活在这间60平米的小公寓中，the quadruplets also have a sister, the family of seven live in this 60m2 apartment
十年前，杨春燕和于万里夫妇因为大女儿的先天性疾病获得了生二胎的资格，意外生下了仅750万分之一概率的龙凤四胞胎。“抚养四个孩子比想象中更为艰难”， 四个小家伙的出生让这个原本并不富裕的家庭捉襟见肘，是上海市民的热心帮助让四胞胎健康茁壮的成长，出于感恩夫妇便将四胞胎起名“东东”、“方方”、“明明” “珠珠”。
Program ‘Life Re-maker’ in Dragon TV, there is a renovation project in 7th phase of first season. The project is located in a resettlement community on Kaixin Road. This 60㎡ apartment is an ordinary one including one living room and two bed rooms. However, a special family as renter makes the apartment different.
Ten years ago, Yang Chunyan and his husband Yu Wanli had daughter with congenital diseases, which allowed them to get permit to having a second baby. Unexpectedly, they delivered quadruplets, only one chance in 7.5 million. Afterwards, the quadruplets have growth up under kind help of Shanghai citizens. Out of gratitude, the couple named their quadruplets after ‘Oriental Pearl’.
Ten years later, the quadruplets have grown up. But because of the oppression of life, this family of seven can only afford to living in a cramped two-bedroom unit in suburban of Shanghai. They seven have been in this apartment keeping a roughcast one, for 8 years. Bad financial situation directly leads to the empty and unfurnished home. In a lack of storage place, their living goods are discarded all around. The kitchen and bathroom are too small to meet the demand of a family of seven. Moreover, the dining room cannot hold all the family members. In order to arrange bigger space for their children, the parents choose the secondary bedroom which is northbound and only 8 ㎡. Even though, every two kids still need to share a bed. When vacation comes, their big sister from old home has no choice but to sleep in living room.
▼项目面临的问题 / 设计预想图，issues / design vision
The landlord don’t allow them to change the layout of rooms, thus renovation cannot be a big move. Conducted by an architect instead of an interior designer, this renovation has a clear main idea from the very beginning, ‘design as a whole’. Not to mind a single bed or cabinet, the main purpose is pursuit of fluency of space and transparency of sight to tight the rooms together. Meanwhile, some interesting space designs are everywhere. A yellow track, like a ribbon, flows through each isolated room, dispelling loneliness and connecting the family of seven closely to each other. Huangpu-River-shaped track has something to do with the names of quadruplets, ’Oriental Pearl’. The track will witness the growth of quadruplets, just like the Huangpu river flows around Oriental Pearl Tower, which implies the close connection between the family and Shanghai city.
▼黄浦江的形状是跑道灵感的来源，Huangpu River if the inspiration source
▼改造前后平面对比，plan before and after renovation
The design compresses and even hides rarely-used space in order to enlarge public space. The kitchen and bathroom are designed under precise measurement so that more space can be created to meet daily utilization. Vertical space is fully used by bunk beds giving everyone private space. After meeting the basic demand of living, the designer creates enjoyment and sense of ceremony by visual guidance and various scales. The north-south track do not only brings breeze but also connects all the rooms together. What’s more, the designer tries to utilize some unique furniture to help quadruplets to form good habits day after day, alleviating the dependence on parents.
▼家具引导空间，furniture guide the flow of the space
Flexible living pace
The tree-hole-shaped niche is a hallstand and meanwhile a footstool. The cartoon image within kids’ sights helps them to get ready for going out. The corridor squeezed by niche shows great directivity. A few steps forward, the track perpendicular to line of sight enlightens roomy living room.
▼入口处设有树形壁龛，niche at the entrance
▼入口，壁龛对面为厨房，entrance, kitchen on the other side
Folding table is convenient to spare a place in living room for children to play. The maps of Shanghai and Xuzhou, hanging on the wall, shows their homesickness.
▼入口边的起居和就餐区域，living and dining space at the entrance
▼折叠餐桌节省空间，folded table saves the space
To reduce noise made by quadruplets, the designer puts PVC, carpets and cobblestone-shaped pillows. Cute patterns are carved on the door of narrow cabinet, trying to develop quadruplets a good habit of storage. Children can write and draw on the black wall beside the bathroom to convey love to their father who is occupied by business during daytime.
▼黄色的跑道连接整个生活空间，yellow track connects different living spaces
▼嵌入式储藏柜，cabinets with carved patterns
The bathroom is divided into two pieces with three sets of mini-sized counter basins, two toilets, two sets of shower nozzle and a bathtub. It is though small but perfectly equipped, which solves the problem of multi-users at peak hour. Besides, parents can take a bath to remove fatigue after a working day.
The idea of parent-child kitchen is finally done with tiny furniture: water channel 260mm in width (general set 450mm), table board 400mm in width (general set 600mm). The designer well utilizes octagon space to shape a cutting plate (general set rectangle). The kitchen renovated creates more space and time for parents and children to get along with.
Separating space vertically ensures everyone’s independent field of sleep, activity and study. The mountain pattern on the wall bihind the bookshelves implies the motto “There is no royal road to learning” and the round hole provides the atmosphere of looking up at the moon.
▼男孩房采用上下分区，上层为床铺，下层为活动空间，the upper space of the boy room is for sleeping and the lower space is for daily activites
▼两个孩子各自的活动空间之中设有环形座椅，既分隔空间，又成为了公共的活动区域，并且保证了视觉的联系，a ring separates the living space for the two children while providing visual connection and space for common activities
▼上层为床铺，bed in the upper space
▼从圆孔可以看到不同空间，view of different spaces from the hole
Movable cabinet and folding bed release the occupation of parents’ bed. PVC curtain well protects privacy of two rooms.
▼移动立柜形成的紧凑空间，compact space created by movable cabinet
▼拉帘保护房间隐私，curtain ensures the privacy
On horizontal direction, space is divided into three parts sleep, activity and study, interacted and independent. Under the bunk bed, there is a third bed for the union of big sister. The wall can be written extends the length of desk, releasing children’s natural instincts.
▼女孩房和生活区域在空间上连续，the girl room is continuous with the living space
▼移动立柜后形成宽敞的活动空间，move the cabinet to create enough common space
▼可变立柜和床铺，flexible cabinet and bed
▼房间和阳台相连，第三张床可以供第三个女儿使用，the room is connected with the balcony and the third bed if for the third daughter
Technical gauze windows preventing dust and pollen overcome the fear to open windows. Tomato, pepper, strawberry, mint, wheatgrass, celery and other plants are planted in a three dimensional botanic garden.
▼阳台上设有条桌和花架，栽满植物，long table and trellis on the balcony with various vegetation
What makes desert beauty is a well hidden somewhere. Little Prince
The quadruplets grow in a hardworking and optimistic family, and parents’ selfless love nourishes their children’s childhood. Happiness and freedom are keywords of a joyful childhood. Mild and interesting space gives children more possibility of exploring and creates lovable living status. It is where the best part of designing lies in.
▼快乐而温馨的家庭生活环境，a happy and warm space for family