‘When the Master was unoccupied with business, his manner was easy.’
The project is located at a private garden in suburban Shanghai, which has a splendid view of trees with shade in late spring. By living and working here away from the hustle and bustle of city, the owner tries to seek a balance between modern life and his inner world.
It’s a place for dancing and sitting in meditation, crying and laughing as well as thinking and whispering. It’s such a mood that ‘when one was unoccupied with business, his manner was easy.’
The relationship between building and tress is emphasized in design. The architects try to reserve most of existing trees with least remove and addition. The building is supposed to ‘grow up’ among trees.
Which is more important, building or trees? Are trees embraced in the building? Or is the building hidden in trees? This is no need to find the answer.
Constructed with plain concrete the building has a raw surface of hand-made marks, which enhances its vitality among trees. Concrete walls of different heights stretch between building and trees to create vivid spaces with a sense of both cleanness and variedness.
It’s a journey starting from entry to the garden, which moves through trees with shade and walls of concrete, by leaving busy urban life behind.
The building has three parts for working, relaxing and living connected by terraces and corridors. Those who walk through it could have an intimate touch with trees. By window openings the architects define frames of nature indoors. The owner could feel a variety of nature scenes in different seasons.
Tears in eyes when I’m leaving here every time, for I’m in deep love with the ‘shen shen garden’, a garden of ease and peace.
Project name: Shen Shen Garden
Project location: Shanghai, China
Design office: Yushe Yuzhu
Design team: Xu Yi, Chen Xiao, Xu Junfeng, Li Keke
Engineering team: Gao Shantong
Photographer: (T+E) Hu Yijie
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