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Publicly Accessible Interiors

Designers deliver new lease of life for shanghai heritage post office

“Love the bold yet simple concept - well implemented throughout,” Matteo Bianchi, Judge

Project: Qing Dynasty Post Office Renovation

Location: Shanghai, China

Award: Publicly Accessible Interiors, Historic, Gold, 2023

Design Practice: More Design Office

Client: Qing Dynasty Post Office

MDO's objective was to showcase the post office's history to both the community and the growing number of tourists visiting Zhujiajiao, drawn by its traditional architecture and picturesque waterways.  By honouring the past while embracing modernity, the designers have created a space where people can gather for meetings, lectures and exhibitions, thus reviving the post office's original purpose of information sharing. Permanent exhibits, featuring the post office's rich history, are thoughtfully presented through physical and digital media. 

The existing building, an exemplar of Qing Dynasty architecture, has undergone meticulous restoration by removing modern additions and restoring it to its original form of brickwork, timber structure and tile. To distinguish new elements from the old, carefully curated objects have been inserted into this historical context, allowing visitors to appreciate the contrast and evolution of the space. The stair and shelves are crafted with a colour palette inspired by the local fabric's "Qingpu blue" and the distinctive "green water" of the water transport post office, paying homage to the building's heritage.

Design highlights

Recycled materials play a crucial role in the project, including locally made terrazzo for the stair and ground floor finish, and a lino flooring made from natural rapidly renewable materials. Existing exposed walls and roof tiles have been carefully cleaned and repaired, preserving their authentic character. The riverside façade, which also serves as a solar control screen, is designed to provide cross ventilation, cooling the interior spaces naturally.

  • Interior view of office
  • Interior view of office
  • Interior view of office
  • Interior view of office
  • Interior view of office
  • Interior view of office
  • Interior view of office

Photo credit: Pianfang Studio

    FOUNDER, DESIGN DIRECTOR: Justin Bridgland

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