Herschel Supply's New Shanghai Office Revives the Lane House Style

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By Lucy Wang
Herschel Supply Co.'s modern office in Shanghai looks to the city’s fast-disappearing architectural heritage for inspiration and salvaged materials.

Reclaimed bricks and a gabled metal framework bring Shanghai’s urban residential context indoors at Canadian lifestyle brand Herschel Supply Co.’s first office in China, designed by architecture studio Linehouse. Located in an area of Jing’an district where many historic alley houses are being demolished, the new modern workspace uses exposed raw materials in a nod to the stripped-back buildings prepped for deconstruction. 

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The central design element in Herschel Supply Co.’s new office is the pitched black metal framework that runs the length of the space. Glass dividers separate the framework into four main rooms that include a lounge, kitchen, meeting area, and bathroom tucked behind a storage area. 

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An open-plan workspace is located opposite the rooms. The walls and ceilings are painted white for an airy and spacious feel; concrete pillars are left raw for an industrial touch. 

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Corrugated stainless steel panels and sliding doors partially clad the house-like structure for privacy, while large openings allow ample natural light to enter the rooms. 

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Half the gabled structure can be seen on the exterior façade, creating a bold frame for the office entrance. Brick infill surrounds the raw metal door that pivots open to allow the interior lounge to become a natural extension of the street. 

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"We wanted to link the office to the surrounding area," says Linehouse cofounder Alex Mok. "So we created a house structure that extends from the interior to the facade on the laneway."   

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