In 2006, house No. 1, house No. 2 and courtyard No. 3 were completed at the same time in Jiu Jian Tang, Shanghai, which were all designed by famous international architect Isozaki.
In 2011, the owners of these estates, unbeknownst to the others, invited local architect Yu Ting to transform them one by one.
After a long time of disuse, house No.2 would become an academy special for ancient Chinese classics, expanding from 400 to 900 sqm, as the owner’s wish.
After bound up the old building with bamboo curtain wall, the architect covered it with a translucent rice paper glass box to weaken the sense of volume. The side atrium, a public space lacking in old building appeared naturally in the gap between these two boxes. The 6-meter-high gate, looks like a dramatic cave made the side atrium more like a courtyard blurring the inside and outside space.
The new-built classroom is a pure glass box. It suggests functional differences of interior by comparing to old building in symmetry to reach an accurate balance on the façade. For example, rounded and right angle; translucent and transparent, vertical and horizontal grid.
The façade of Wu Ji is a space not a boundary. Tier upon tier, Architect used Capitalism architecture vocabulary to create Chinese mood as a result in this space. The Isozaki’s work can’t be elucidated in the Wu Ji at last. It is only a distant memory. Wu Ji is a totally new one.
Those 3 buildings were looked on as whole but humdrum by Isozaki. As a result of different functions, they rebuilt in different methods, finally reached a balance of harmony, which we called Mutation.
You can find more information on the other two buildings, one is ‘Kaisersaal of Longevity，Kun opera playhouse’，another is ‘painter’s Atelier’.