Itty bitty lots between buildings don’t have to be wasted space. In fact, they have the potential to spark novel architectural solutions.
Such is the case with Shanghai’s One Person’s Gallery. Designed by the Chinese firm WUtopia Lab, the unique exhibition space was created inside of a small alley, squeezed between buildings.
The gallery replaced a junk-filled storage area, which the designers mined for items they later used to furnish the finished space. Old doors were spruced up and reinstalled. Dust-covered furniture was restored and used for seating in the adjacent courtyard.
The discovery of a church-like arched doorway inspired a more pared back design meant to evoke the contemplative space of a chapel. Extending the site’s existing covered space, the designers build a pitched, double-height wood-frame addition entirely covered in translucent panels. In daytime, the milky polycarbonate cladding acts as a light diffuser—bringing even, ethereal light into the gallery’s almost empty interior. At night, it glows from within like a lantern.