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For the sixth annual AZ Awards, our intrepid jury narrowed the field from over 800 submissions, received from dozens of countries, to select just 48 finalists that stood above the rest. In addition to presenting the AZ Award winners, Azure recognized these projects, products and concepts with Awards of Merit.

The classic lane house, a three-storey structure with an elongated base, was once ubiquitous in Old Shanghai. It’s now disappearing to make way for high-rise construction, but Neri&Hu Design and Research Office is fighting back. Rethinking the Split House converts the shell of a dilapidated lane house into a three-family abode, with units connected by an open metal staircase. The 193-square-metre dwelling, which is wedged between two other buildings, called for generous fenestration, namely a skylight over the stairwell, and floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the street, offering a clean, contemporary take on a regional form.

Location: Shanghai, China

Firm: Neri&Hu Design and Research Office, China

Team: Rossana Hu and Lyndon Neri, with Xiao Lei, Zhao Lei, Guo Peng and Tony Schonhardt ­

Rethinking the Split House

Explore more Award Winners

Award of MeritMulti-Unit Residential Buildings
New York, U.S.
WinnerMulti-Unit Residential Buildings
PARA Project
Syracuse, New York
Award of MeritMulti-Unit Residential Buildings
Montreal, Canada
L. McComber (Canada)