More often than not, existing constraints are what make designs unique. However, when restrictions are greatly overwhelming, simplification is the counteractive method.
Using the unchangeable structures of an old residential complex in Guangzhou, China, LUKSTUDIO of Shanghai gave life to a vacant storefront in the name of Atelier Peter Fong. This minimal mixed-use space — a café, a brainstorming area, a meeting room, and a lounge — is divided into four sections, inheriting special traits from the past.
An irregular layout of columns resulted in spaces opening and closing up, revealing interstitial spaces that reminisce one of China’s complex alleyways. Windows and entrances frame the outside views like urban landscape paintings, linking the interior and the outer contexts. With a minimal palette of white, beige, and shades of grey, the colours give balance to the intertwining circulation amongst different spatial uses. The four separate sections then converge at one point with a modest garden of pebbles, tranquillising the entirety. Wooden furnitures and coloured furnishes lighten up the space with textures, along with the help of string lights and pendant lamps.
The minimal Atelier Peter Fong and the chaotic city of Guangzhou create a stark contrast, but I’m in love with this project due to its embrace of contexts to produce that noticeable difference. By working with the building’s physical history and injecting modern solutions, LUKSTUDIO was able to revitalise the neighbourhood with a new space that’s both meaningful and beautiful.
Photography by Dirk Weiblen.