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MINI's first project in Shanghai transforms former paint factory into a co-living concept

China Architecture News - Apr 26, 2019 - 01:08   5244 views

MINI's first project in Shanghai transforms former paint factory into a co-living concept

World renowned car brand MINI has transformed a former paint factory into new co-living spaces to live, work and play in Shanghai and it will be opened to use in the third quarter of 2019.

Developed as part of MINI Living program, exploring new living concepts in major cities around the world since 2016, MINI Living will now open its first creative project in Shanghai, China. The building is currently under construction at Jing’an District of Shanghai and its opening was announced by Oke Houser, creative lead of MINI Living program.

The project transforms a disused industrial site into a 8,000-square-metre vibrant collection of apartments, communal areas and public spaces. Unused industrial buildings will get a new life as modern dwellings, with an open architecture that invites the community to assemble. 

MINI Living chose Shanghai as the site of this co-living project, a city familiar with the challenges of accommodating a growing urban population. The project is entirely befitting the MINI philosophy of "creative use of space", and the multi-functional living complex in Jing’an district. 

MINI's first project in Shanghai transforms former paint factory into a co-living concept

Developed by Chinese firm NOVA Property Investment Company, six buildings will be connected to create an innovative new neighbourhood with an open-minded approach to architecture that will result in flexible transitions between private and public spaces.

The design scheme put emphasis on promoting personal freedom. The open-house philosophy behind this building encompasses an optimal use of space and fostering a strong sense of kinship; at once in-wardly reflecting and reaching out to invite people to create a community. 

Dwellings, workspaces and common areas are being built alongside shops, restaurants and areas for recreation. A MINI car sharing service will be available to residents—the future of mobility and urban living go hand in hand, after all.

The design of the complex embraces Shanghai as a city of contrasts. Inside the apartments, which vary in size to cater to singles and families, contemporary design and local elelments are combined to create unique but unmistakably Shanghai interiors. 

MINI's first project in Shanghai transforms former paint factory into a co-living concept

The apartments will be nestled in the heart of the neighbourhood and built around the needs of the residents. Varying rental terms allow those who require a temporary home near friends or colleagues to simply book adjacent rooms. This simple system means that the existing space is used efficiently, with its functions kept flexible.

"With MINI Living we’re looking to create a genuine alternative within the rental market of big cities," explained Esther Bahne, head of MINI Brand Strategy and Business Innovation. 

"We’re offering a place that can adapt to its residents, is flexible and allows room to breathe."

The planning for this inventive project combines expert design knowledge with the spirit of excitement that MINI is known for, and it has been executed with a view to open the complex to the broader neighbourhood. Shops, restaurants and gardens are open to the public, forming focal points for the community that will bring people together in meaningful ways. Additionally, mobile apps will facilitate access to a wide range of offerings and services within the complex.

MINI's first project in Shanghai transforms former paint factory into a co-living concept

"MINI Living is not only demonstrating a creative use of space, it is illustrating the commitment MINI is making to shape the ideas behind the future of urban life," said the team. 

MINI Living previously designed mini living urban cabin in Beijing, in collaboration with Penda, and opened in 2018. In addition, the company designed a new urban cabin in Los Angeles in 2018, as well as other urban cabins in London and New York. 

MINI Living focuses on the key principle: the creative use of space, into real solutions for how we live, work and interact in our cities. The firm works with a small footprint and they seek to answer these challenges in a way that combines our design knowledge with the spirit of experience - and fun.

All images courtesy of MINI Living

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