Power Workshop / Benzhe Design

Architects: Benzhe Design
Area: 56,835 Square Feet (5,280 Square Meters)
Year: 2023
Photographs: Ce Wang, Shengliang Su
Lead Architects: Huajian Jiang
Engineering: Shanghai Tongyan Civil Engineering Consulting Co., Ltd
Design Team: Ruigen Yao, Tong Lin
Building/Interior/Landscape Designer: Benzhe Architecture Design
Program: Refurbishment, Commercial & offices, Industrial & Infrastructure
Clients: Shanghai Jiayun Investment Management Development Co., Ltd
Floor Space: 20,666 Square Feet (1,920 Square Meters)
Design Time: February 2022-September 2022
City: Pudong Xinqu, Shanghai
Country: China

In this comprehensive exploration, the Power Workshop emerges as a profound architectural statement within the EKA Art District, Pudong, Shanghai. Originally serving as Building 462 for the China Shipbuilding Naval Instrumentation Factory, this edifice has undergone a transformative renovation by Benzhe Architecture Design. Tasked with harmonizing historical reverence with contemporary utility, this project revitalizes the structure while preserving its cultural essence. Emphasizing the symbiosis between architectural form, human interaction, and nature, the design interweaves traditional elements with modern interventions, crafting a multifunctional space that supports business and lifestyle activities. The meticulous preservation of original structures like the double-herringbone beams alongside innovative additions exemplifies a dialogue between the past and present, offering a rich, layered experience for all visitors.

Power workshop / benzhe design

The Power Workshop, situated in the EKA Art District in Jinqiao, Pudong New Area, Shanghai, was initially the Equipment and Power Workshop, Building 462, of the China Shipbuilding Naval Instrumentation Factory (CSNIF) during the 1950s and 1960s. Commissioned by Benzhe Architecture Design, the facility’s owner conducted the comprehensive planning and renovation of the area. In the renewal and revitalization process, it was crucial to respect the historical context and preserve the original cultural memory, while also accommodating contemporary business and lifestyle needs, infusing new life into this old structure, and initiating a time-transcending dialogue.

The Power Workshop maintains the original double-herringbone beam structure with the red-tiled sloped roof. The Isshiki Shimizu red brick dominates the façade, paired with eaves and window sills crafted from black weathering steel plates, preserving an industrial aesthetic while fostering a connection with nature. The building design incorporates interspersed blocks, creating diverse landscapes and rich sensory experiences. To the south, the red brick floor extends to a waterfront swing area, enhancing the seamless integration with nature.

On the ground floor, an open-plan layout prevents damage from secondary renovations, promoting sustainable development. Staircases on the south facilitate access to commercial spaces above, enhancing facade dynamics. The second floor features long black weathering steel-framed glass windows, offering unobstructed views and an industrial feel. The southeast corner includes a steel-framed glass box for natural light, and a cut in the southern mountain wall creates a suspended balcony, enhancing the visual interplay of the structure.

The north facade adopts a minimalist modern style with large glass windows and black weathering steel plate balconies, creating a smooth visual experience. This facade is enriched by the layered arrangement of glass and red bricks and small balconies faced with steel mesh.

To improve connectivity with the art district, sky corridors on the east and west sides enable direct access to neighboring spaces. The west gallery features black weathering steel plates with square windows, contrasting modern and traditional elements, while the east corridor’s glass structure integrates the building with its natural surroundings.

Inside, the raised atrium reveals old wooden beams and adds staggered balconies, allowing sunlight through narrow skylights. The interior’s main materials—terrazzo, color-matched logs, and red bricks—reflect the exterior, with warm terrazzo staircases enhancing the architectural flow. This dynamic and cohesive design is why this space is aptly named “Power Workshop.”

Project Gallery
Project location

Address: 535 Jinqiao Road, Pudong New Area, Shanghai, China

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