ChongMing Villa by Bylu Design

ChongMing Villa is a stunning retreat designed in 2021 by Bylu Design, located at the mouth of the Yangtze River in Shanghai municipality, China.

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The villa is located in Chongming, a picturesque island at the mouth of Yangtze River, in eastern China and part of Shanghai municipality. Traditionally a farm and fishing island, Chongming is now undergoing a massive renovation process. Just one hour driving from Shanghai downtown, Chongming is becoming the perfect refuge from the city life for the wealthy Shanghainese families, that are choosing it for their second house.

The interior design of the villa consists of two primary elements: the clear delineation of natural materials and volumes as a programmatic signifier. Wood and ceramic are two recurring elements in the project that emphasize rustic inspiration. The villa is composed of 4 floors and is functionally divided into two parts: the basement and first floor for daily activities, second and third floors for bedrooms. The connection between these areas is carried out through minimal wooden stairs and a small elevator.

The basement and first floor contain communal functions such as living, dining, studio, cinema, and majong room. The material palette of these spaces builds upon the basis of the rustic white oak, complimenting it with Sant’Agostino grey tiles for the floor and a compelling blue navy wall for the cinema room.

Situated at the far end of the kitchen and dining area is the foyer, the space owners use to access their garden. Rustic and charming, the entry room is set with a concrete bench and furniture from Banlan.

The life in the house is concentrated around the big living room, which is connected to the dining area and the staircase by a double-sided fireplace. The living area is a two-story room. It interacts with the outside garden by having floor-to-ceiling windows that run along the sidewall, allowing the air to circulate and the sun to enter. The space becomes one mix of all the environments.

The living is rich with natural light which makes it a perfect spot for relaxing afternoons or evenings with friends. The owner requested to keep the connection between the second-floor mezzanine and the living area, but at the same time, we wanted to conceal the guest’s flow along the mezzanine corridor. Our solution was to encase the mezzanine in a semi-transparent/see-through wooden box which works as a storage/relax corner and visual divider between the 1st and 2nd floor.

In contrast with the lower portion, the upper level houses private functions including a master suite, walk-in closet that is also a tea room, kid’s bedroom, and two additional guest rooms. The space maintains a light palette of white paint, warm colors, fabrics, light grey terrazzo, white oak, and grey ceramic.

The character of the house is contemporary and has been tailored for its future settlers, a couple, sometimes visited by their friends, their children, and, in the future, their grandchildren too.

Photography by Studio One+

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- by Matt Watts