Futown Warehouse Office
This is a conversion of a former motorcycle factory warehouse in Shanghai into an office space for 200 people. The original 1980s warehouse structure, commonly found in China, consists of ribbed precast reinforced concrete floor slabs on deep precast beams. The floor area was increased to accommodate all workers plus some meeting rooms, exhibition spaces and lounges by partially adding one more layer of mezzanine floor in between. At the same time we wanted to keep the feeling of this tall large volume in all its structural honesty as much as possible walking around this office. To do so, these extra mezzanine floor slabs are organised into narrow long 2-level strips along the width of this warehouse, alternating with full-height spaces. One now passes through a series of low spaces and high spaces in quick succession; with variations in the configuration of these layers. The 2-level mezzanine layers are clad with transparent and translucent corrugated polycarbonate facades such that you can relate to the different layers from this side and that side in different ways. Walking around this large office is like walking around a city, looking at various facades of buildings.