Respecting building heritage

Yang Di
Vladimir Dyduch is co-founder of MASS DESIGN, an architectural firm in Shanghai.
Yang Di
Respecting building heritage
Courtesy of Vladimir Dyduch / Ti Gong

Vladimir Dyduch

Who is he?

Vladimir Dyduch is co-founder of MASS DESIGN, an architectural firm in Shanghai. The French native graduated from the National School of Architecture in Strasbourg and has been living in Shanghai for five years now. 

Please share with us some of your works, and name the one you are most proud of?

I am used to working collaboratively with the MASS team to find the perfect design for a client. Over the years we have specialized in the renovation of existing buildings. We developed the design language of the iconic service apartment and office brand ‘base.’ I also like to work on small-scale projects such as office or hospitality projects. My favorite one that I have led is RAC, a French bistro and coffee shop. The collaboration with the client was amazing and the place is highly successful. 

Are you currently involved in a project?

Currently I am working on a restaurant called Appétit located in the BFC Mall on the Bund. The project is quite minimalist with raw materials such as exposed concrete bricks and natural wood. The restaurant is in the basement of the mall so we decided to make an indoor garden in the main room to bring a natural and fresh atmosphere. 

What’s your design style?

It is not easy to be defined by a style. I would say that my design style is humble and honest, placing materiality at the center of the creative process. I often use different types of wood and textures of glass, metal and tiles. At MASS we think that it is important to respect the heritage of the building and express its inherent character. For example, we like to expose the concrete structure or keep an old staircase, floor or window frame.

Where are you most creative?

My creativity come from the people I meet, the travel I do, the books I read, even the food I eat. Everything that bring emotion and sensation. I truly believe that best ideas comes far from my computer.

What does your home mean to you?

A home should be a place where you feel safe, a shelter and a sanctuary. It is a nest that you share with your family and friends. 

What do you collect?

Memories trump material items for me so I prefer to collect those. 

Where would you like to go the most in Shanghai?

My favorite place in Shanghai is the city center where I live. I love to walk around and discover hidden heritage buildings, have coffee on a terrace, or brunch and drinks with friends. 

What will be the next design trend?

It is not easy to say, especially as an architect. I always hope our design aesthetic does not follow a trend but is instead unique in itself, able to appeal to all and is timeless. I think what will inform design in the near future is a greater attention to connection, sharing and community.

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