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At Home With: Jonas Merian and Nina Chen

Located in Yangpu District’s Wu Wei Creative Garden is one of Shanghai’s most unique homes. Found inside an old factory, the loft of Jonas Merian and Nina Chen is their home, studio and exhibition space all in one. Merian, a furniture designer and photographer, and Chen, a freelance graphic designer and photographer, stumbled across the space last spring. After six weeks of renovations they directed themselves, the couple moved in and have quickly turned it into one of the city’s most dynamic creative hotspots.


Before the renovation, the whole loft was one big, empty hall. There was one place where cold water and electricity were coming in and no waste water connection. The second floor was built from scratch with three rooms underneath: a bathroom, guest room and walk in wardrobe/storage room. Upstairs are both the living and sleeping areas. Downstairs is the kitchen, photo studio/office area and exhibition space.


There is a huge shelf with kitchen utensils underneath the stairs. The big dining table was made by Jonas from reclaimed wood from destroyed houses in and around Shanghai. The Tibetan door curtain leads to the bathroom, the other curtain on the left, leads to the guest room. The big bowl on the table is a beautiful piece from Nepal.

Exhibition Area

The sofas are made by Jonas from old shipping pallets. They can be used individually or can be combined by fixing them together with locks underneath the pallets. His furniture workshop is in a separate room in the back left corner.




The bathroom furniture used to be an old dresser that was found at a wood seller who specialises in selling reclaimed wood. Jonas repaired and cleaned it, replaced all the hinges and a piece of missing wood and installed a sink and the plumbing.


Guest Room

The shelf was made by Jonas from reclaimed wood and old Chinese biscuit boxes. They have friends from all over the world staying at their place for various periods of time.






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