Located at Jinhai Road of Pudong New Area, the original site of FOR Space was a bathing place converted from an old factory building of monotonous spatial arrangement. It had fall into disrepair, lacking any distinct features of industrial building or historical value.
▼建筑外观局部，exterior partial view ©苏圣亮
When refurbishing, Benzhe Architecture, based on a firm grasp of the seven independent buildings at the site, abandoned the original spatial pattern. A systematic spatial reconstruction allows a creative use of the space with flexible combinations of differential units, excepted to promote the sustainable development of surrounding areas, which reflects the active role of architectural design in urban renewal.
▼建筑群外观，the building group ©苏圣亮
Next to the main building stood the For Art Center, a giant breathing glass box serving as both bookstore and performance venue. The elevation of its curtain wall is enriched by the arrangement and combination of metal framework poles, with the delicacy of glass and the sturdiness of metal forming a sharp contrast. The rough and cold old metal truss is retained in the rearranged top space, where the implantation of log canopy softens the atmosphere. The interior space is rendered breathable and endowed with new vitality by the natural lighting introduced inside through the new skylight, which contrasts with the simple and smooth floor of air-faced concrete.
▼艺术中心，the Art Center ©苏圣亮
▼艺术中心内部空间，interior view of the Art Center ©苏圣亮
▼户外庭院，outdoor courtyard ©苏圣亮
After a bold makeover, the left and right sides of the façade of the U-shaped main building now takes on a completely different look that the boringly flat walls are transformed into well-arranged three-dimensional space. A staircase of black weathering steel hanging on the outside of walls is like unrestrained thick branches sprawling towards different directions, which demonstrates the sense of rhythm and strong tension of new architecture and interprets the style of post-modernism.
▼主楼，the main building ©苏圣亮
Following a natural and warm hall, there is a stairway where a cluster of sunshine light specks spill from a wall full of holes, which makes up the lighting in the interior space.
▼大厅，the hall ©苏圣亮
▼大厅结构细部，structure detail ©苏圣亮
▼大厅走廊，foyer gallery ©苏圣亮
Transformed into a spiritual fortress, the tower now functions to provide guidance. On the second floor and above of the main building, multiple buildings are linked up by the criss-cross corridors. For people shuttling back and forth between the buildings, a private place to rest as well as a platform for exploration and communication is offered.
▼塔楼，the tower ©苏圣亮
Building No.7 used to be a two-storey building, but for various reasons it is now reduced to only one floor. As the only single-storey building among this complex, it appears to be much shorter than the others. To make up for its lack of height, building No. 7 is renewed by raising up the gable wall, with a rest platform constructed to add open-air landscape. The structure of façade is rearranged only by the red bricks to create an integration between the new and the old, as well as rendering the originally simple and chaotic functional space clearer. The cramped feeling of flat space is dissipated by the brick surface orderly protruding from side walls and the empty window at the corner of two walls, which constitute a unique feature.
▼七号楼，building No.7 ©苏圣亮
▼远观建筑的红砖表皮，view to the red brick facade ©苏圣亮
Well-coordinated with surrounding buildings, building No. 4 expresses the most simple and natural properties of architecture, as its main body consists of cast-in-place concrete walls of wood grain and corrugated steel plates. Meanwhile, the sunken lounge with waterscape provides a space for leisure and social activities.
▼四号楼，building No.4 ©苏圣亮
Redbrick buildings and Western-style mansions from the Republican period are preserved as the main part of the architectural complex, while the old gate at the entrance is replaced by an industrial bronze archway, resulting in a more refined and exquisite sight. With modern aesthetics and Chinese element blended inside, the kernel of Shanghai-style architecture is thus elevated, as moderate vitality and healing power permeate the space.
▼红砖房与小洋楼，redbrick buildings and western-style mansions ©苏圣亮
▼建筑局部， partial view ©苏圣亮
FOR Space is the expanding and reconstructing of the relation between time and space. Through redistribution of architectural space, the old buildings are given a new life and enabled to satisfy future needs for functional space, which reflects the inclusiveness of urban renewal.. Benzhe Architecture is on the way of practicing the relations among architecture, human and nature.
▼建筑夜景，building elevation by night ©苏圣亮
▼原貌，the existing building ©本哲建筑
▼主楼正立面，the front facade of the main building ©本哲建筑
▼艺术中心正立面，the front facade of the Art Center ©本哲建筑
▼四号楼正立面，the front facade of the building No.4 ©本哲建筑
▼七号楼正立面，the front facade of the building No.7 ©本哲建筑
Project name: FOR Space
Owner: Shanghai Jiayun Investment Management Development Co., Ltd.
Project site: 18 Jinhai Road, Pudong New Area, Shanghai, China
Designed by: Shanghai Benzhe Architecture Design Co., Ltd.
Company website: www.benzhedesign.com
Floor area: 15380m²
Main plan architect: Jiang Huajian
Design team: Yao Ruigen, Lin Tong
Design time: October 2018-February 2019
Construction time: December 2019
Completion time: March 2020
Graphic design by: Benzhe Architectural Design
Photo by: Su Shengliang