© Wutopia Lab

Wutopia Lab Creates Sacred Shrine of Everyman

Shanghai, China

Architizer Editors Architizer Editors
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Shrine of EverymanWe have transformed the abandoned water pump house at the Dongtanyuan outpost of the Bright Food Group into the Shrine of Everyman, using milk chocolate as the theme for the pump house to evoke the memories of ordinary people who have been temporarily forgotten by the great abundance of material goods but still love life, thus turning an abandoned facility into a sacred space for ordinary people – the Shrine of Everyman.

Architizer chatted with YU Ting, chief architect of Wutopia Lab, to learn more about this project.

Architizer: What inspired the initial concept for your design?

YU Ting: One of the main attractions of traditional Chinese culture is that everyday places can be elevated to sacred spaces through the construction of shared memories. I think of chocolate. Reinvented by the Shanghai food industry (including the predecessor of the Bright Food Group), milk chocolate was a boon to the Chinese during that period of material scarcity. It was also once an integral part of the dietary memory of Shanghai people.

© Wutopia Lab

© Wutopia Lab

© Wutopia Lab

© Wutopia Lab

What do you believe is the most unique or ‘standout’ component of the project?

What I think is unique is how well the structural elements are concealed, we have combined the structural steel columns with the installation of the sun panels through 13 8.5cm high steel beams with a horizontal 9.6m span to connect the 6cm square steel columns. The thin steel sheet roof is then covered to frame the lightweight, translucent polycarbonate panel cloud doors.

© Wutopia Lab

© Wutopia Lab

What was the greatest design challenge you faced during the project, and how did you navigate it?

We wanted to make this small house lightly suspended and light-emitting in its entirety, so I designed a brown semi-circular pool suspended above the river as a base to separate the pump house from the surrounding everyday landscape, which symbolises chocolate. The old pump house was replaced by a new structure of 13 translucent polycarbonate panels with light strips embedded in them, standing above the water, symbolising milk.

© Wutopia Lab

© Wutopia Lab

© Wutopia Lab

© Wutopia Lab

© Wutopia Lab

© Wutopia Lab

© Wutopia Lab

© Wutopia Lab

© Wutopia Lab

© Wutopia Lab

Credits / Team Members

Project Architect: Mu Zhilin Design Team: Nan Xu, Kejie Mi

Structural Consultant: Miao Binhai Lighting Consultant: Zhang Chenlu

Products / Materials

Sunlight panel

For more on Shrine of Everyman, please visit the in-depth project page on Architizer.

Shrine of Everyman Gallery

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