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.