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Central City Apartment, Shenzhen, China by X-ZOO Design

Project name:
Central City Apartment, Shenzhen
Architecture firm:
X-ZOO Design
Shenzhen, China
Sui Sicong
Principal architect:
Xinru Wei, Margie Zhao
Design team:
Built area:
80 m²
Site area:
Design year:
Completion year:
Interior design:
Environmental & MEP engineering:
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
Tools used:
Residential › Apartment

X-ZOO Design: “Open space provides freedom of growth and opportunity for new possibilities. One immersed in the space should experience the freedom of living through creatively interacting with it.” This is what designers Margie and Xinru said in regards to the idea of "freedom" in space. They implemented this idea in a high-rise apartment in the central area of Shenzhen.

The owner of the apartment has dual identity of being an artist and an successful entrepreneur in medical field. In her ideal world, she imagined the apartment being a flexible space that not only meets the needs of the team working, but also a place for business gatherings and entertainment, individual work and leisure. Therefore, on the premise of satisfying both leisure and work function, Margie and Xinru weakened the sense of boundaries defining a specific function. Transformed the space into one that switches modes at will, just like how the owner of the apartment change between multiple identities.

The total area of the apartment is 80 square meters. The designer opened up all the walls, setting the space free and light. Natural light extends along the entire floor-to-ceiling windows, creating an excellent light to shadow atmosphere, extending the openness of the overall layout. The background tone of the space is simple and soft, pastel colors with tints of blue carry out the gentleness and peace of daily life. The natural wood texture and metal decorations adds a touch of playfulness to the space, just like those unexpected encounter and surprises in life.

1. Freedom of space

Scenarios are divided using flexible wood partitions. Original space is reorganized and defined as partition slides back and forth separating and joining living and work needs. Cozy white and blue becomes colors that shuffles in the space, giving the apartment unique vitality.

2. Transformable furnishing

Flexibility and interaction between space and its user is considered throughout the design. Putting emphasis on vitality of space, the designer creates mobile furnishings that adapts to user’s different needs. Wheels, adjustable parts, switch and springs are customarily inserted in places to maximize mobility and surprises. The biggest highlight is a customized ping-pong table designed to match the user’s dual identity. Designer selects unique wood veneer with special dyed leather net to constitute this multifunctional “toy”.

Custom ordered metal components allows the table to be easily separated and combined together. Specially crafted leather net transforms the table into ping-pong table, meeting and individual work desk.

The innermost part of the apartment is designed as a comfortable living area, with storage cabinets that can be easily accessed, side tables and tea tables that can be moved arbitrarily, transformable sofa beds for overnight stays, and washrooms hidden behind the wall. These details are the life trajectory outlined by the designer for the client to showcase the excitements and surprises in life.

Work, entertainment and living fulfills this apartment.

"Here, there is a kind of relaxation and joy like entering a playground when you were a child. You are never tired of playing with various toys and rides". This free and changeable space, like childhood playground, enriches work full of excitement. Switching between scenes, the space inspires creativity, motivates communication and interaction with colleague, friends and furnishings.

Designer tried to endow the space with life. Utilizing site advantage of high-rise scenery and abundant natural light. Transparency and boundless setting allows the entire apartment to have a larger sensory experience than its actual square footage. Taking into account the lifestyle of the user, designer abandoned the use of traditional fixed furnishings. The interaction between people and objects provides the occupants with an interesting space experience, and also leaves more possibilities for shaping a plentiful life.


Founded in 2022, X-ZOO is a design studio established to produce cross-disciplinary work that integrates architecture, experimental design with emotional sensibility. Our design philosophy is to provide work with "freedom of growth". Pieces "happen" before its function is defined, allowing users to complete the design through the process of interaction. Through boundless imagination, we endow objects with life and characteristic, bringing excitement and vitality into daily living in addition to contemporary functionality.

Margie and Xinru's works are inspired by their own experiences and deep understanding of culture and aesthetics in Eastern and Western life, that is, the consistency of the pursuit of "vitality" in the Eastern and Western world, and the search for harmony in the existing opposition. The creation is good at expressing the artistic form from architecture, so the works have stronger logic hidden under the emotional expression. Creative thinking is full of imagination, not limited by the laws of the objective world and often from beyond the perspective of the work itself to continue the inspiration.


Co-Founder of X-ZOO

LEED AP BD+C Architect, Designer

Columbia University - Master of Science in Architecture

The University of Sao Paulo - Certificate in Furniture Design

Studying under the mentorship of Bernard Tschumi, Dan wood and other influential architects. Margie developed unique understanding of design philosophy, aesthetics and spatial system. Her work breaks the boundaries of traditional academic fields and seeks for experimental design and expression.


Co-Founder of X-ZOO

Architect, Designer

University of Southern California - Bachelor of Architecture

The University of Sao Paulo - Certificate in Furniture Design

Xinru's design focuses on the research and application of material and structure. Integrating cross-disciplinary concepts into her work. As oppose to pure functionality, she pays more attention to the emotional and sensory impact created by the object or space.

By Liliana Alvarez

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