A Guide to MINI LIVING Shanghai.

Access All Areas: we peek behind the scaffolding at MINI LIVING Shanghai with Universal Design Studio’s Satoshi Isono and MINI LIVING’s creative lead Oke Hauser.

Jing’An is one of Shanghai’s central districts, a place where traditional and contemporary collide and co-exist. Named after the ancient gold-dipped Buddhist temple Jing’An Temple, here, luxe shopping malls brush up with famed Art Deco dancehall The Paramount; dumpling shops neighbour dimly-lit cocktail bars. In an old paint factory complex, the MINI LIVING team are hustling 24/7 to take their first co-living hub from dream to reality.

With Satoshi Isono from award-winning architecture and interior design practice Universal Design Studio and MINI LIVING’s creative lead Oke Hauser as our tour guides, we put on hard hats for a walk through the big ideas and little quirks behind MINI LIVING Shanghai. 

MINI LIVING Bathroom View MINI LIVING Bathroom View

The Neighbourhood

Oke Hauser: We wanted to be embedded in a neighbourhood which felt really authentic to Shanghai. We didn’t want to be somewhere which felt too international.

There are a lot of residential compounds in Shanghai that feel very closed off. MINI LIVING will be very public — it really is for the city. It gets a little more private in places of course, but there’s still a connection between the people.

Satoshi Isono: One example is the modular seating that we designed for corners throughout the house as meeting points between residents and the neighbourhood around MINI LIVING.

The MINI LIVING Building

Satoshi Isono: We really wanted to retain the five existing former paint factory buildings and reinvent it rather than building completely new structures. We were keen to make use of what’s already there.

Oke Hauser: There’s a change in Shanghai at the moment: people want to create more authenticity.

Oke Hauser: Sometimes space is not the problem in cities, it’s more about finding new ways to use it. Space exists not just at street level. We’re connecting the floors of MINI LIVING, and connecting the buildings with one another so people have multiple ways to wander through MINI LIVING.

MINI LIVING Kitchen Table MINI LIVING Kitchen Table

The Lobby

Satoshi Isono: We want everybody to feel truly at home beyond their own apartment. The lobby will be where you can grab a coffee whilst enjoying afternoon sunlight through the glass skylight. The lounge, which will be open to everybody, will be a place to hang out with friends and neighbours - to watch the jellyfish do their thing or catch up with one another.

The Apartments

Oke Hauser: The private apartments are embedded in a cluster, meaning multiple apartments are closely attached and have some shared space for storage, to cook together or play chess. The smaller apartments have more shared space, the penthouses have less - but the sharing aspect is very much present in all of them.

MINI LIVING swinging Door MINI LIVING swinging Door

The Bedrooms

Oke Hauser: The idea behind MINI LIVING is that you can shrink your personal space to a minimum without sacrificing any quality of life: you actually get more out of it. Our private space is rather small, but with the help of the transformative architecture it becomes bigger — you can open up the walls to extend the private area into a shared, communal one.

The Rooftop

Satoshi Isono: We’re creating different highlights on the different rooftops: one space to get a moment of silence, to truly get out of the daily buzz for a bit. Another one with a little green farm on it where you can plant your basil or host a little garden dinner. All surrounded with the panoramic view of Shanghai. We really feel like it’s essential to get a different perspective on things sometimes.

This is MINI LIVING. Stay Open.

MINI LIVING Appartment MINI LIVING Appartment