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When Japanese Idea Meets Bauhaus

Sophia 2017-08-25 15:41

From an “art youth” at graduation to the chief designer of Shanghai Viewspace Interior Design, 26 years of professional practice has molded the young talent, Zhou Jun, with an air of sophistica- tion. Embraced with a heart seeking for the freedom, Zhou has found the balance be- tween career, life and the design of his own. In the past 26 years, Zhou adhered to natural and sustainable interior design to pursue the philosophy of “Done by man, as if it is made from nature.” In his view, every single style of design has its own merits, while an excel- lent designer should make use of the best aspects as his own. Only in that way could one nd his genuine philosophy of design.

Abiding by his philosophy of natural living, Zhou has nished numerous impressive works, which also turned out to be a trigger to cooperate with the owners of the property. The villa located in Songjiang, Shanghai, was purchased by a young visual art designer, W. After several failed attempts to nd a solution for his house, W decided to hand it to Zhou Jun after simple discussions with one of his friend, depending on Zhou’s talent to make his dream house come true.


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“A good design, more or less, comes from conversations. Only the owner of the property knows exactly what he or she wants, and thus we could design as desired. In that way, I didn’t rush to the design process. Rather, I had several discussions with the owner couple to collect information on their aesthetic preference and personal interests.” Through the communication Zhou learned that they were fond of fair-faced concrete and worshipped Tadao Ando. Moreover, Zhou inferred they were obsessed with Bauhaus designs from their fondness of Barcelona chairs. Therefore, Zhou decided to create “When Tadao Ando Meets Bauhaus” by combining fair-faced concrete and Bauhaus elements together. To his surprise, how- ever, the couple share almost identical tastes for art, and that gave him the hunch that the whole process would be highly intriguing. It turned out that during the one and half years from design to completion of construction, Zhou thoroughly enjoyed himself throughout the whole process.


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As of the design of the façade, Zhou Jun kept the original material and craftwork while optimized the indoor lighting by adjusting doors and windows, including adopting French style folding doors, expanding and extending bay windows. On the other hand, Zhou repainted the white parts and modi ed the collage area of red natural slates to increase the harmony and beauty of the general building. He explains, “I designed and processed the façade with differentiated strategies according to different functions of the space. That’s exactly the free façade highly advocated by the Bauhaus school.”

On designing the courtyard, both Zhou and the property owner expected to present an individualized one which is not con ned to traditional Japanese courtyard styles. To this end, the owners conducted a month-long investigation in Japan and Zhou also did intensive research on Japanese gardens. Eventually, he matched all the courtyard landscapes with corresponding windows and doors on the house, resulting in the classical beauty of “each step with a change of scene”.


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“For a designer, a good piece of work must be a rewarding one. For me, the most rewarding aspect is the handling of the fair-faced concrete.” Zhou said. In order to perfect the surface texture of the indoor fair-faced concrete, Zhou Jun invited the chief constructor to conduct on-site research on more than 20 concrete-style cafes in Shanghai all at his own expense. After some twenty experiments did he begin to be contented with the overall effect. Yet the trouble followed as it was impossible for two workers to cast concrete on an approximately 10x8m wall in a single day. The consequence of incompletion would be ugly crevices on the concrete and thus sabotaging the whole wall. After much deliberation, Zhou decided to set up a scaffold in front of the wall and hired four workers to complete the casting. Moreover, Zhou was exhilarated with his new approach in choosing materials. He added a percentage of interface agent in the concrete to prolong the solidifying speed. After full solidi cation, he brushed a specially treated paint on the surface to create a subtle, delicate, yet quite textured re ective effect.


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To maximize the living space on the ground oor, Zhou knocked the living room and the kitchen into one, resulting in a better lit and more comfortable space. The previous straight ight stairs also went through complete changes. The eyesore part – the column, was removed while the crossbeam underwent structural reinforcement. The grey background and the pure white spiral stairs cast a sharp con ict and contrast. Besides the functional considerations, the spiral stairs became the visual epicenter of the ground oor, easy to be seen in every corner of the oor. The spiral stairs stood distinctively elegant in the grey concrete ambiance, akin to a giant modernist sculpture in the house.


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To satisfy the couple’s request of more available space, Zhou rst utilized the empty parlor space to create an additional story. Furthermore, an attic was segmented on the second oor for storage use. The addition of wrought iron staircase created a full functional loft space. As a result, the interior space of the villa was expanded to 360m2 from the original 310m2. Additionally, Zhou designed four new dormers to the house, two of which were located between the loft space between second and third oor and the other two in the master bedroom and staircase respectively. The dormers highlighted the whole villa not only by introducing more natural light to the interior, but also by creating various light and shade effects during different times of a day.


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To eliminate the grey and dull feelings of the fair- faced concrete, Zhou Jun speci cally adopted bright coloured furniture to infuse textuality and vitality as well as creating sharp visual contrast with the concrete. Equipped with a 200-inch TV, electric curtains, whole- house remote controlled appliances and smart locks...the smart home system designed and nished by Zhou and the owners gave a “trendy” touch to the whole space.

Combined with the brilliant application of materials and breakthroughs in techniques, the designer presented an extremely individualized spatial experience for the property owners through the collision of passions and ideals.


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day. The consequence of incompletion would be ugly crevices on the concrete and thus sabotaging the whole wall. After much deliberation, Zhou decided to set up a scaffold in front of the wall and hired four workers to complete the casting. Moreover, Zhou was exhilarated with his new approach in choosing materials. He added a percentage of interface agent in the concrete to prolong the solidifying speed. After full solidi cation, he brushed a specially treated paint on the surface to create a subtle, delicate, yet quite textured re ective effect.

To maximize the living space on the ground oor, Zhou knocked the living room and the kitchen into one, resulting in a better lit and more comfortable space.
The previous straight ight stairs also went through complete changes. The eyesore part – the column, was removed while the crossbeam underwent structural reinforcement. The grey background and the pure white spiral stairs cast a sharp con ict and contrast. Besides the functional considerations, the spiral stairs became the visual epicenter of the ground oor, easy to be
seen in every corner of the oor. The spiral stairs stood distinctively elegant in the grey concrete ambiance, akin to a giant modernist sculpture in the house.

To satisfy the couple’s request of more available space, Zhou rst utilized the empty parlor space
to create an additional story. Furthermore, an attic
was segmented on the second oor for storage use.
The addition of wrought iron staircase created a full functional loft space. As a result, the interior space of the villa was expanded to 360m
from the original 310m2. Additionally, Zhou designed four new dormers to the house, two of which were located between the loft space between second and third oor and the other two in the master bedroom and staircase respectively. The dormers highlighted the whole villa not only by introducing more natural light to the interior, but also by creating various light and shade effects during different times of a day.

To eliminate the grey and dull feelings of the fair- faced concrete, Zhou Jun speci cally adopted bright coloured furniture to infuse textuality and vitality as well as creating sharp visual contrast with the concrete. Equipped with a 200-inch TV, electric curtains, whole- house remote controlled appliances and smart locks...the smart home system designed and nished by Zhou and the owners gave a “trendy” touch to the whole space.

Combined with the brilliant application of materials and breakthroughs in techniques, the designer presented an extremely individualized spatial experience for the property owners through the collision of passions and ideals.



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