The Black Box by NHDRO

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The Black Box by NHDRO and Design Republic Offices

This office building in Shanghai punctuated by rectangular apertures is a renovation by Chinese firm NHDRO.

The Black Box by NHDRO and Design Republic Offices

The existing building is situated in the former Shanghai French Concession, and original features such as timber joists and structural walls have been left exposed.

The Black Box by NHDRO and Design Republic Offices

The first of five storeys is a shop for retailer Design Republic while the floors above form offices for Design Republic and NHDRO themselves.

The Black Box by NHDRO and Design Republic Offices

Externally the ground floor is wrapped in timbers above which the building is rendered black.

The Black Box by NHDRO and Design Republic Offices

The interior is a mixture of whitewashed walls, glass partitions and rooms entirely finished in wood, while all five stories are connected by a void.

The Black Box by NHDRO and Design Republic Offices

Here's some more from the architects:


The concept of the "Black Box" is the guiding concept behind the architecture--modeled after the "black box" flight data recorder, it is used symbolically to represent the “storage” of conversation, ideas, thinking and research in the creative studio office.

The Black Box by NHDRO and Design Republic Offices

The black box also serves the function of protecting that recording in the event of a crash, fire or tragedy, analogous to the role of a design office servicing as a container of its intellectual production and protection from outside damage.

The Black Box by NHDRO and Design Republic Offices

The black box offers poignant, relevant and passionate design ideas with meaning and purpose to clients who may have had to face design tragedies in their lives.

The Black Box by NHDRO and Design Republic Offices

The ground floor in the form of a retail store displays some of these designed objects produced in the offices above, rendering it a window into the contents of the black box.

The Black Box by NHDRO and Design Republic Offices

The Black Box is a five-story office building located in the former French Concession, which also includes a street-level storefront space.

The Black Box by NHDRO and Design Republic Offices

On the ground level, two wooden facades make up the base of the building, one comprising the new Design Republic store and the other leading up to the Design Republic and NHDRO offices.

The Black Box by NHDRO and Design Republic Offices

The gallery and store on the ground level then becomes an extension of the street.

The Black Box by NHDRO and Design Republic Offices

Above this glass and wooden exterior, a four-story dark façade is extruded and “cut” to reveal windows into the building.

The Black Box by NHDRO and Design Republic Offices

Within the Design Republic space, the wooden box is pierced to reveal white boxes that frame the main display area.

The Black Box by NHDRO and Design Republic Offices

Private offices are contained within glass walls, just like within the original Design Republic office on the Bund.

The Black Box by NHDRO and Design Republic Offices

The upper two stories will comprise the NHDRO space, which is connected vertically with openings and horizontally with a bridge.

The Black Box by NHDRO and Design Republic Offices

The conference room consists of two stacked boxes, a wooden box atop a white box. The room is visible from the upper level through an opening alongside the bridge.


See also:

.

The Waterhouse at South Bund
by NHDRO
Sayama Flats by
Schemata Architecture Office
More
architecture stories
  • http://www.traditionalrugrepair.com Tezgah

    Great design. very comfortable.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ming.n.tsui Ming Norman Tsui

    word!! china is stepping up its game.

  • Felix

    Finally contemporary architecture that doesnt sport the charme of a dental clinic but feels as if it was actually made for humans…something very unusual these days, like it :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1216543058 Ronaldo Diedrich

    Black? Imagine in the summer!!!

  • JuiceMajor

    I like the interior a lot! Well done to them!

  • http://archimedialab.com spacenomad

    …definitely the best architecture I have seen coming out of China so far. Chapeau!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000846182818 Zafar Dadayev

    I agree with Ming Norman