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Fab-Union Space

Archi-Union Architects

Shared By

Sara Johnson



  • Philip F. Yuan (architect)
  • Alex Han, Xiangping Kong, Xuwei Wang (design team)


  • Structural Engineer: Zhun Zhang

Project Status


Year Completed



3,961 sq. feet



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Project Description


The project which is supposed to be an impressive practice in the city is designed by Philip F. Yuan and Archi-Union Architects. Although it is micro in scale, FU Space is powerful enough to represent a new attitude to the value shift in architecture. It is located in the West Bund area in Shanghai, which is planned to be a future art and culture center of the city. Adjacent to ShangART Gallery, Shanghai Art fair Center and several other architect studios, the location of the site is terrific It is only 200 meter away from Huangpu river front and 2 blocks away from the historical quarter of Longhua Temple. Moreover, Long Museum, Shanghai Photography Museum and Yuz Museum are all within walking distance. It’s undoubtedly among the art community which is taking significant experiments in Shanghai.

FU Space will become a future non-profit contemporary art, architecture and culture communication center.  It is aimed to be an exhibition and communication space.

The site is very compact, located at a sharp turning corner. N Both the different circulations from 3 directions and a connection to the 2nd floor platform of Shanghai Art Fair Center have to be considered. Therefore, the primary concept is to set up a good soft joint for the whole community. The analysis leads to a form finding process throughout the geometry of the site. The inspiration of the material to reach this softness comes from the concrete of the platform, which originally cold and tough. If we use the mould system, we can actually implement the concrete to any soft surface. 

The program is specially set for exhibition. Five basic spaces including two 4.2M height space and three 2.8M space are all regular square ,which could be flexible for multi-functional purposes. . All special space experience lies in the in-between circulation space. Interior public space followed by the exterior form finding process, is enhanced by an abstract thinking on creating a kind of experience climbing the rockery of Chinese garden. The key aspect of Chinese garden design is to make it big through small scale, which is extremely efficient in changing sceneries with varying viewpoints. The abstract process for this kind of experience is achieved by the HP surface geometry, which is intensified from different perspective.

The construction process was conducted in a very short time. Although all the unsatisfied marks and traces were recorded on the concrete wall, a real diversity strengthened a new sense of place in such a compact space. The softness of concrete, which makes the light flowing leisurely, touches the depth of heart of the visitors.

The first exhibition of FU Space is especially dedicated to the chief architect, Philip F. Yuan exhibits his thinking, working models, and a topic: Presence of Absence, hopefully that could be an explanation for the concept of the building.

The primary consideration in the conception of this project is to ensure the exhibition buildings on the side relatively complete. But the road space of 3 meters is built on the basis of the dynamic behavior of people, the air dynamics of the wind and the maximum volume of space continuity.

Dynamic nonlinear spatial shape is built on the basis of structural performance optimization and spatial dynamics. The whole process use a variety of design methods of  cutting stone , perspective geometry, and the Algorithm configuration.

As plastic material, concrete has the characteristics of construction and has the characteristics of foreign construction, the whole building from design to construction lasted for only four months should be a digital design and construction method of the miracle.
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