Mix Space Mandela in Shanghai, China By RoarcRenew

The rising pathway of the arc stair leading people to the freedom and light.

Project Specs


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Appreciation towards RoarcRenew for providing the following description:

设计伊始,我们并不知道该如何为这个新的联合办公项目注上代号,或许只是挑选几 个朗朗上口的音节,使其叫出来显得洋气。直到有一天,我们从一本书上看到了一篇关于 Nelson Mandela 的传记,以及这一 句: We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.

When we first started, we really did not know what to call this new project of co-working design. We were just thinking about selecting a few catchy syllables, to make the name sound “trendy”. Until one day,we read an article from the biography of Nelson Mandela, and it’s from this following sentence that we got the inspiration, “We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.”



自由与光 Freedom and Light 


“Freedom”is the key word in ROARCHI’s “Mandela” Project design and plan. Physical characteristics of lighting in the space help to materialize the “Freedom” concept in architecture design. Lighting is the magician, who turns and spins the space, representing a spatial spirit.


精神指向 Directing the Spirit 


Apart from organizing the logistics on the floor plan, ROARC also emphasizes on bringing a spirit to the space design. To discover the space spirit, we start from analyzing the existing structures and components. The building in project has a brick-concrete structured warehouse and was renovated in the 1980s. In 2014, it was again renovated and reinforced with additional steel structures. The original concrete walls and its patched texture have been well preserved and covered with clear glass, which created an effect of two textures collage. The staircase, as the media for emotional and functional interactions, becomes the most important element in this whole space. In addition, the atrium part, four-story tall, epitomizes the divinity of the holy space. The rising pathway of the arc stair points directly to the skylight opening, which is just like the Jacob’s ladder in the Bible, leading people to the freedom and light.

《雅各布之梦》也叫《雅各布天梯》(Jacob‘s Ladder)。 布莱特的弟弟罗伯特死的时候,悲痛的布莱克看见他弟弟的灵魂穿过屋顶冉冉上升,“欢乐地拍着手”。他得到灵感将圣经旧约里雅各布做梦登天梯的故事画出来。不同于其他许多天梯是直上直下的画,布莱特的天梯是意味深长地螺旋上升的,形成一个三维圆锥螺旋线。什么是雅各的梯子?梯子让人看到的是什么?顺便说一句,这是圣经里唯一用“梯子”一词的地方。梯子是派什么用处的?梯子是用来让你到达本来你到达不了的地方。 你够不着的,就用梯子,对吗?就这么简单。那么我们是否能从这里建立起一个神学概念,说神满有恩典地提供了梯子。他在顶上,我们所需要做的,就是爬上去就行了?假如真的是这样,那么神所在的地方有多高?我们所需要爬多少格才能到他那里?那首著名的儿童主日学诗歌这样唱“我爬啊、爬啊、爬,我爬上雅各的梯子。”孩子们要爬多久才能爬到顶上?也因此, “梯子”这样一种建筑样式,在空间里被多次使用。

Jacob’s dream, is also called Jacob’s Ladder. When Blake’s brother, Robert passed way, sad Blake saw Robert’s spirit rising up slowly, all the way through the roof,  clapping his hands in joy. Blake was inspired and painted Jacob’s dream of climbing the ladder. Different from straight ramps, Blake’s ladder is rising significantly in a spiral, which develops a conical helix in three dimensions. What is Jacob’s ladder and its purpose? What does the ladder bring people to see? Indeed, this is the only “ladder” appeared in the Bible. Conventionally, a ladder is for you to reach a spot that you could not get before. If It’s out of your reach, then use a ladder, simple as that. So, could we set up a theological concept that God graces us with the ladder and he is on top, all we need to do is to climb up. If so, howhigh do we need to climb to reach him? The children’s Sunday-School Hymn goes, “We are climbing Jacob’s ladder;We are climbing Jacob’s ladder;We are climbing Jacob’s ladder”. How long it will take the children to climb up to the top?Thus, the metophorical ladder, also endowed with such an architectural element, has been materialized in the space for multiple times.


动线 The Circulation 


The inner space of Mandela’s four-story warehouse is 40 meters long, 29 meters wide. One fire escape on the east side, one on the west side and together with one west-end lift, forming the vertical traffic flow. With the Shanghai solar altitude angle calculated, we concluded the direct sunshine can neither reach the north nor south area within 7.5- meters towards the center axis and the average daily sunlight received in this area is less than 0.1 hour. Considering these two factors, we inserted a vertical light shaft with the diameter of 3.6 meters all the way down from the forth floor to the ground floor, which lights up the area that the sunshine could not reach before. Meantime, the curved staircase in the atrium supports the light shaft, dividing the interior into three major sections, the east, the central and the west. The east and the west are mainly used for working space, while the central facilitates the major traffic flow and serves as the lighted environment.


入口 Entrance 


The aged iron gate is preserved and reinforced, and still functioning. The curved bar counter is using the cast-in-place concrete, which shows our homage to the well-preserved wall material. And the visual effect generated from the curved shape smoothly introduces the route into the inner space. The cutting shape of the suspended ceiling works in concert with the bar counter’s. The patterns of mosaic on the floor are well connected to the ground resin varnish.

▼围绕水吧台的休息区,relaxing space

▼水吧台,the water bar


区域功能的位置 Positioning Functions in Area 


The water bar, the printer and the single seats are combined into one function module, are placed at both east and west sides of the main staircase. The co-working module emphasizes the efficiency in the shared working space. We are trying to minimize users’effort to get water, print and reach to the phone line. Within the function module, the user could efficiently get these three things done in one go. At the same time, a visible location and the easy-access to the destination gather people to two regions along the east or west side of the main staircase, which effortlessly work out for people’s propensityof socializing in the center space.

▼各功能区围绕中央螺旋楼梯而设,functional spaces are managed around the staircase


空间中的黑与白 The Black and White in the Space


The center area with white seating is intentionally set up as the main key. The divinity in the place is incisively and vividly revealed by the raised space underneath the ceiling and the lighting. Black is the color for working area,accompanied by the lights with 3700k color temperature, there is this comparatively quite and private working environment. In private offices, clear white walls, black strip lights and authentic rubber wood seats leave the room for tenants to recreate and redesign. The collision between light and shadows, preserved walls, clear glasses, and old items, plus the methodology of museum exhibition display design applied in Mandela’ s lighted co-working space, showed ROARCHI’s pursuit of spatial quality.


与历史对话 A Conversation with the History 


Our starting point of design was the fear and respect for the history. A beautiful building should not be pulled down but constantly renovated,developed with whole new methods, while gaining new spirits from the changing context. Thus, in “Mandela” Project, crumbling concrete walls were completely preserved. We fixed 12mm laminated glass at a distance of 20cm from the preserved walls, and posted texts which document the history on the glass. Like this, the past, the present and the future of these walls coexist here, inspiring and stimulating flows of ideas for people who use the space and they can enjoy unrestricted moves in between the old and new spaces.

▼新旧交替的空间安置,enjoying the unrestricted moves in the old and new spaces


交互 Interactions 


Underneath the existing truss, there is a space from the raised ceiling. After finishing the whole floor plan design, we noticed the missing of a space for rest and naps For which reason, we created a “playground” on the mezzanine floor. A small steel staircase and one arc slide became the major pathway to link the space above and below. The truss, the structure element produces a dramatic effect in the scale that people could reach. The order of triangles in the space turns into soft partitions, serves to divide regions.

▼轻松愉快的小憩空间,spaces for rest and naps



▼结构解析,structure analysis



建筑设计师: 柏振琦
建筑师: 柏振琦,薛乐骞,彭慧扬
产品经理: 冯印陶
地址: 上海市黄浦区制造局路833弄23号C
结构工程师: 许尉华
项目年份: 2016
设计周期: 201607-201608
施工周期: 201608-201611
客户: 米域联合办公
建筑师事务所: 裸筑更新
设施: Roarchi Renew Ltd

Chief Architectural Designer: Robben Bai
Architects: RobbenBai, L.Xue, H.Peng
Project Manager: Eva PM: Feng Yintao
Address: No.23c Lane 833, Zhi Zao Ju Rd., Huang Pu District, Shanghai, China
Construction Engineer:WeiHua Xu
Mechatronic Design: Lu Yi
Year: 2016
Design Duration: 201607-201608
Construction Duration:201608-201611
Client: MixPace Coworking
Architect Firm: RoarcRenew
Facilities & Utilities: RoarcRenew Ltd
Construction Firm: AoYang Ltd

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