gs, while mirrored glass provides textural intrigue to the mostly monochromatic base. Raw steel edged glass garage doors at each of the vehicular entries are marked with custom graphics and signage to guide visitors to distinct areas along the building’s nearly 100m length.
Sitting within the white volume of the building shell at the west end are the main function spaces—office, café, and car lift—each expressed as modularized steel and mesh boxes, a subtly refined interpretation of industrial storage facilities. Mezzanine platforms, stairs, and walkways float amidst the mysterious black cages, such that cars and people are constantly circulating about. The café and the automobile workshop together, a somewhat surreal juxtaposition of functions, begins to generate moments of spectacle. Looking back down between the structural beams, peering through the layers of mesh and mirror, there is an allusion to the back stage of a theatrical set. Patrons of the café can voyeuristically steal glimpses of the cars and mechanics, marveling at their performance while enjoying a delightful refreshment.
While the brutality of the concrete and steel material palette, the unadorned authenticity of the metal assemblage, are inspired directly by the industrial approach, an additional layer of luxuriously textured materials—walnut timber and brushed bronze—provides a sense of hospitality. Custom furniture and lighting pieces adopt the efficient tectonic of wood plank and tubular steel construction, but their material richness and refined detailing also harken to the quality of craftsmanship found in antique cars. With this project, Neri&Hu attempts to break through common expectations of what some might consider a vulgar typology, to inject a sense of warmth into an industrial context, and to portray the seductive side of the ubiquitous modern machine.
To facilitate the efficiency of service in the repair shop, the strategy for the main signage reflects the bold and straightforward graphics of road signs. While the main signage is clear and direct, a second layer of signage augments the functional with the reflective. Meant to be slowly discovered, quotes are silkscreen-printed throughout the lounge and waiting area for customers to ruminate and take pause.
Gross Floor Area (mq)2680
ArchitectsNeri&Hu Design and Research Office
Design teamLyndon Neri & Rossana Hu (founding partners, principals in charge) Nellie Yang (senior associate, architecture) Jerry Guo (project manager, architectural designer) Brian Lo (senior associate, product design) Nicolas Fardet (associate, product design) Christine Neri (associate, graphic design) Siwei Ren (senior project manager, graphic design) Haiou Xin (graphic designer)
Curriculum studio / partecipanteLyndon Neri and Rossana Hu are the Founding Partners of Neri&Hu Design and Research Office, an inter-disciplinary international architectural design practice based in Shanghai, China, with an additional office in London, UK. Neri&Hu are named Maison&Objet Asia Designers of The Year 2015 and Wallpaper* Designer of The Year 2014. In 2013, they were inducted into the U.S. Interior Design Hall of Fame. Their practice was the 2011 INSIDE Festival Overall Winner, won AR Awards for Emerging Architecture in 2010 by Architectural Review and one of the Design Vanguards in 2009 by Architectural Record. Other than architectural professionals, Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu have been actively involved in teaching and research. They have been invited to speak, exhibit and judge for many prestigious events and programs all over the world.