KnowYourself, Shanghai, China by Mur Mur Lab

City Cave

Project Specs


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Appreciation towards Mur Mur Lab for providing the following description:

“天空很蓝,白云很白,城市是如此的普通。”在这条熟悉的街道,出现了一个“洞穴”。Practice in City城市修行馆是心理咨询类公众号KnowYourself位于上海·巨鹿路的首个“未来商店”。

“The sky is blue, the clouds are white, and the city is so ordinary.” A “cave” appeared in this familiar street. Practice in City is the first “future store” of the psychological consultation public account KnowYourself located on Julu Road, Shanghai.

▼洞穴,Cave ©含之


Flow of Emotion


Like all the buildings in the old city center, our site is not loose, but very rich. Spatially, it is located on the second and fourth floors of a building ,it is not continuous. The floor-to-ceiling windows on the second floor look like a busy Julu Road, which is a pleasant pedestrian street. The height of the fourth floor is just above the roofs of the surrounding old houses, and there is a clean greenery as far as you can see. The second and fourth floors are connected by a closed staircase.

▼普通的城市中向上的阶梯,Upward stairs in the Ordinary city ©左:含之,右:WDi


Practice in City is operated in separate rooms of different sizes. Three yoga rooms, a VIP zone, and a reception, the space is packed full, leaving only a few gaps. They are both transportation and limited public space. Between the shadow of the tree and the blue, the entrance is an upward staircase. From here, we hope that everyone can walk in unsuspectingly.

▼悬隔,Suspending ©WDi


Facing the public space in these gaps, we are very restrained, without adventurous forms, we only proceed from scale and light. This is an invisible emotional streamline-upward, inward,toward the light, suspending daily life and cognitive self.

▼洞穴空间与隐性的情绪流线,Cave space and hidden emotional streamlines ©Mur Mur Lab


The gap and opening between the caves are all media for interaction with people in the emotional stream. We use linear light strips to simulate natural light,let the light fall through the gap where the eye cannot look straight, and provide uniform illumination. The green and light outside the window rushed into the room through the opening.

▼四楼公共空间的“洞口”,The “opening” of the public space on the fourth floor ©WDi

▼洞口与缝隙,Opening and gap ©WDi

▼建立起日常的熟悉感,Establish daily familiarity ©WDi


Light has no form. When it passes through the building, it becomes a work of art. We love the change of natural light, and gradually feel that there is more stable artificial light in it, like add to one more metaphor about eternity. “Do not fear the fetters of the past, and point to the future forever.” In the process of cognitive self, such clues as if there are seemingly nonexistent guide us. Knowing yourself, when you wake up, there seems to be a lot of light.

▼人工光,Artificial light ©WDi


Cave and Body


The founder of KY said that a safe room reminded her of “matrix”. We left it to the smallest VIP zone, which is the most direct and simple interpretation of the “cave” intention. For the body, the “matrix” is  to care and wrap; for the architecture, the “cave” is the most primitive safe shelter. The two are naturally related.

▼进入VIP室前,Before entering the VIP zone ©含之


The VIP zone is located in the corner of the second floor, which is also the most difficult corner to use. The room is long and narrow, with a pillar in the middle. These are precisely the most important clue to design. With the column as the boundary, the small room is again divided into inside and outside. Step on the upper level, the space inside is shorter, you subconsciously bend down and sit down quickly. A column wrapped in a tree shape, surrounding it or approaching it, is a process of close interaction between space and body. The floor-to-ceiling window is reduced to a square hole, echoing the divided luminous wall. The ever-changing natural light and artificial light are always facing each other.

▼VIP室,以空间中部的柱子划分内外,VIP zone, spaces defined by the column in the middle ©含之


As an abstract container, space can contain complex behaviors. It is not precise, but it can be expected. Through observation, this tiny room is being perceived and used in the way we imagined it. It excites us. Architecture is no longer talking about itself, it is entering daily life in an understandable way. Natural and artificial, seeing each other, light is its best medium.

▼光的对话,Light dialogue ©WDi


We never reject concreteness, and the eye is one of our favorite symbol. It is located at the highest point above the stairs. Every time you struggle to climb the fourth floor and turn around to look at it, there will be unspeakable emotions. Like life.

▼“母体”,”Matrix” ©含之

▼情绪涌动,Emotional surge ©含之


Geometry and Nature


The experience of nature is the reference for all our concept. They come from geometric methods that can be clearly described. Abstracted from nature, and finally returned to the experience of nature. “You are always working on the same project, but train and improve your skills in different situations.” We have become more and more proficient with this set of geometric methods: upward we can describe nature abstractly, and accept various discussions about experience; downward we can connect technology and construction, so that phenomena can be realized at a reasonable cost.

▼看见自然,See nature ©含之

▼四楼操房内的“洞口”,The “opening” in the fourth floor yoga room ©WDi

▼几何练习,Geometric exercises ©WDi

▼小操房外,Outside the small yoga room ©WDi

▼秩序的房间,Orderly room ©含之


Finally back to daily life. In the face of this magical city landscape, I return to my own feelings and experiences. Then look at it again and walk out.

▼眼睛,Eyes ©WDi


We like the metaphor behind the entrance of the cave, which hides secrets that are not to be told. In the change of time and space, the change and the unchanged are in the line. Face your feelings honestly. “The sky is blue, the clouds are white, and the city is so ordinary.”

▼日常光影,Daily light and shadow ©含之


This October, A cave appeared in my familiar street.

▼2F平面图,2F floor plan ©Mur Mur Lab

▼4F平面图,4F floor plan ©Mur Mur Lab

项目名称:KnowYourself 城市修行馆
设计方:Mur Mur Lab
照明设计:J Studio景照明(何伟杰,陈祺侃,何丽华)

Project name: KnowYourself
Designer: Mur Mur Lab
Company website:
Contact email:
Project design & completion year: 2020.08
Leading design & team: Xia Murong, Li Zhi, Zheng Qin, Yang Yuhang, Huang Linxi, Li Xinliang, Gao Hanzhi
Lighting design: J Studio King Lighting (He Weijie, Chen Qikan, He Lihua)
Project location: No.318 Julu Road, Jing’an District, Shanghai
Project area: 400 square meters
Photography: WDi, Hanzhi

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