Qing Dynasty Post Office Renovation

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MDO's objective was to showcase the post office's history to both the community and the growing number of tourists visiting Zhujiajiao, drawn by its traditional architecture and picturesque waterways. Our design approach centered around information sharing, resulting in a waterfront café, a versatile hall for community events, and a multifunctional gallery. Permanent exhibits, featuring the post office's rich history, are thoughtfully presented through physical and digital media.

The existing building, an exemplary Qing Dynasty architecture, underwent meticulous restoration by removing modern additions and restoring it to its original form of brickwork, timber structure, and tile. To distinguish new elements from the old, carefully curated objects were inserted into this historical context, allowing visitors to appreciate the contrast and evolution of the space. The stair and shelves were crafted with a color palette inspired by the local fabric's "Qingpu blue" and the distinctive "green water" of the water transport post office, paying homage to the building's heritage.

By honoring the past while embracing modernity, we have created a space where people can gather for meetings, lectures, and exhibitions, thus reviving the post office's original purpose of information sharing. Recycled materials played a crucial role in the project, including locally made terrazzo for the stair and ground floor finish, and a lino flooring made from natural rapidly renewable materials. Existing exposed walls and roof tiles were carefully cleaned and repaired, preserving their authentic character. Energy efficiency was a priority in our design, with energy-efficient lighting employed throughout the building. The riverside façade, which also serves as a solar control screen, is designed to provide cross ventilation, cooling the interior spaces naturally.