A major home renovation in Shanghai has Chinese internet users abuzz. The Zhou family’s three-floor home in Shanghai’s Shikumen neighborhood was tiny and difficult to navigate. Each floor was about 12 square meters (129 square feet) and the bathroom was only one square meter (11 square feet). An attic provided an additional 1.6 square meters (17 square feet) but the family was still stretched for space.
The family of five — comprised of Yuan Zhou, his wife, son, and elderly parents — also had to aid Yuan Zhou, who is disabled and has hemophilia, making it impossible to climb the stairs. Yuan Zhou slept on the bottom floor to avoid the stairs and sharing a room with his parents, which meant his father had to sleep in the closet.
Amid their difficulties entered Pingzhong Wang, director of interior design at Ping Design Studio in Shanghai, who learned of their plight and wanted to help Zhou family renovate their home.
The task wasn’t easy.
The family home shares the same stairs with their neighbors, and so any renovation needed their neighbors’ approval. After a lot of back and forth, Wang revised his drafts several times until they agreed.
Want also wanted to install an elevator so Yuan Zhou didn’t have to climb stairs, however the size of the house didn’t allow for the elevator that Wang had originally designed.
Wang stayed up for nights to redesign his plans and finally come up with a solution.
GROUND FLOOR AFTER
The ground floor of Zhou’s house often got flooded and was extremely damp, so Wang elevated foundation of the house and added a waterproof layer.
Wang built a separate stairway and doors so Yuan Zhou didn’t have to share the stairs with his neighbors anymore.
DOORS AND WALLS AFTER
The home was very dark, so Wang replaced the concrete doors and front wall with glass and added a skylight to provide more natural light.
Wang chose a hydraulic elevator for Yuan Zhou which was smaller and quieter than a traditional elevator. It’s also more suitable for low-rise buildings.
The old house was built in 1911, and Wang wanted to let some of the original bricks remain to honor the history of the house.
The Zhou Family was in shock after seeing their “new” home.
MORE BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS:
(Slide right for before, left for after)