His House and Her House in China by Wutopia Lab | Yellowtrace

His House and Her House in China by Wutopia Lab | Yellowtrace

His House and Her House in China by Wutopia Lab | Yellowtrace

His House and Her House in China by Wutopia Lab | Yellowtrace

 

The cobalt blue cube and the larger, saccharine pink building sit in stark contrast to their dreary surroundings. Shanghai based architecture firm Wutopia Lab, were invited to transform buildings within the urban slum of Shenzhen for the seventh Shenzhen-Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture.

The brief was to reinterpret the concept of the village kitchen. Wutopia Lab defined their understanding of cooking by associating the activity into two domains; public cooking, traditionally a male activity and private cooking, the domesticated female arena.

One building was assigned for each of the genders. On first appraisal, the colour coding – blue for boys and pink for girls seems stereotypically trite. But Wutopia Lab has a different take on it. “We use blue to paint Building NO.5 façade, blue is a symbol of survival and competition,” said the architects. The light pink in contrast, is used to represent the sensitivity and delicacy inherent in women. The architects refer to the duality between the sexes. “The delicacy of the existence created by women, and man’s desire for existence, contribute to the duality of each other.”

 

See more projects from Wutopia Lab on Yellowtrace here.

 

His House and Her House in China by Wutopia Lab | Yellowtrace

His House and Her House in China by Wutopia Lab | Yellowtrace

His House and Her House in China by Wutopia Lab | Yellowtrace

His House and Her House in China by Wutopia Lab | Yellowtrace

His House and Her House in China by Wutopia Lab | Yellowtrace

 

His House, the one-storey, blue building, has three exhibition rooms with the interior green palette based on Matisse’s paintings. The first exhibition room is devoted to bacon, hung in strips from the ceiling. Another room is set up with a beer pond, beer bottles lining one entire wall. And the third, a pure white space with a skylight, the floor covered in white salt referring to the history of salt fields.

Her House, the two-storey pink building is redolent in society’s perceived feminine virtues. The veil-like blinds that wrap around the balconies imply the introversion of a female life. The ground floor pink rock salt, suggests the demarcation between the safety of the home and the world beyond. Both buildings retain all the original, irregular windows, developed over time acquiescing to the needs of former occupants, creating a liveliness on the façade.

The installation pays homage to the human will to survive, both buildings resplendent in their bright colours, injecting hope into the slumlands that surround them.

 

See more projects from Wutopia Lab on Yellowtrace here.

 

 


[Images courtesy of Wutopia Lab. Photography by CreatAR Images.]

 

About The Author

Susanna McArdle

Susanna has a background in Interior Architecture and a passion for writing. Based in Sydney, she has worked both in Asia and Australia designing. An avid writer, it’s hard to know what she prefers more, stringing words together or creating spaces. But one thing she does know, is that she loves doing the both together.

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