The project is located in the historic neighborhood of Xuanwumen, Beijing. Hidden in a small quiet alley and flanked by a primary school on the Southeast side and an important Roman Catholic Church on the West side, the plot was formerly occupied by a coal factory that was decommissioned ten years ago and left abandoned ever since.
▼庭院，the yard ©夏至
Underneath a thick coat of black dust inherited from the years of the ash-spitting furnaces, pretty much the totality of the plot area was covered, leaving just narrow gaps between the metallic roofs to cast a blade of light to the interiors. After freeing up the central yard from a metallic roof structure, three buildings with very different typologies stood around it: on the North side a traditional pitched-roof grey-brick house guarded the entrance, as the last remain of the original hutong fabric; in the West, a warehouse shed with a long sequence of wooden trusses transformed the deep space into a crumbling basilica filled with coal; finally, at the Southern end, a red brick boxy building hid in its deep basement the noisy industrial production.
▼改造前后对比，before and after renovation ©夏至
The client’s goal was to redevelop the 800sqm plot into a flexible office space that would target young and dynamic offices. The brief included a series of functional requirements ranging from conventional small office units to open working spaces, meeting rooms, a dining area and a kitchen, but we were also asked to design the layout in a way that it could allow future tenants to host events and gatherings for large crowds.
▼首层平面图，ground floor plan ©reMIXstudio
Due to the strict preservation guidelines of Beijing historical city center, the renovation had to maintain intact the volumetry of the courtyard so our intervention focuses on a new interface with the garden and redefines the interior spaces, preserving all the columns perimetral brick walls and reconstructing the industrial pitched roof without trusses, in order to maximize the headroom.
▼原有的砖结构体量得到保留，the perimeter brick walls were preserved ©夏至
▼室内空间，interior view ©夏至
▼设计生成，design process ©reMIXstudio
▼狭长的竹院，interior bamboo garden ©夏至
The functions are organized as a series of boxes of various sizes piled up within the existing envelop; their different heights depend on their function and the degree of privacy required and their distribution responds to the pace of the original structure. The “negative volumes” between the boxes provide flexible double-height spaces that can easily incorporate new future functional requirements and create an interesting rhythm of compressions and decompressions along the main axis.
▼二层空间，first floor interior view ©夏至
▼工作空间，work place ©夏至
▼玻璃采光井庭院，the new glazed atrium ©夏至
The roof is carved in multiple locations to form light wells and interior gardens, spreading a diffused light throughout all the working areas and generating new views towards the surroundings. The new glazed atriums help organize the functional areas and expand the perceived depth, multiplying it through a series of reflections. They not only provide natural illumination and ventilation to the full depth of the building, but also work as encapsulated fragments of nature that one can contemplate while working: a tree branch cut out from a squared patch of sky, the reflection of the sun onto the marble cross of the nearby church…
▼不同透明性形成的空间层次，layering and transparencies ©夏至
▼高耸的室内空间，double-height spaces ©夏至
Finally, a continuous dark steel ribbon meanders across the whole project to navigate through and connect across the three buildings, taking multiple configurations: a reception entrance, a covered hallway, a mezzanine suspended in the central space or a staircase leading to the rooftop terrace. This band of steel is the physical materialization of the new circulation as well as a memory of the industrial past of the buildings.
▼伸向屋顶平台的楼梯，the stair to the roof terrace ©夏至
▼看得到教堂的安静庭院，a quiet garden with a view to the church ©夏至
▼悬吊的二层平台，suspended mezzanine ©夏至
▼水院，water garden ©夏至
▼西立面夜景，west façade at sunset ©夏至
▼西立面细部，west façade details ©夏至; reMIXstudio
▼竹院细部，bamboo garden details ©夏至; reMIXstudio
▼室内材质，material palette ©夏至; reMIXstudio
▼施工照片，construction process ©reMIXstudio
▼改造前平面图，existing site plan ©reMIXstudio
▼首层平面图，ground floor plan ©reMIXstudio
▼二层（夹层）平面图，first (mezzanine) floor plan ©reMIXstudio
▼屋顶平面图，rooftop plan ©reMIXstudio
规模: 建筑 680 平米，景观 250 平米
团队: 陈忱，Nicola Saladino, Federico Ruberto, Alexandre Braleret,刘杨洋，陈思，陈牧之，张弥，段锦童，陈鑫星，陈宇轩，李欣，王瑞婷
Location: Beijing, China
Size: interior 680sqm, gardens 250 sqm
Lighting Design: Kaihe Studio
Structure Consultant: Ji Lixin
Furniture: Bentu, Hay
Team: Chen Chen, Nicola Saladino, Federico Ruberto, Alexandre Braleret, Liu Yangyang, Chen Si, Chen Muzhi, Zhang Mi, Duan Jintong, Chen Xinxing, Chen Yuxuan, Li Xin, Rita Wang
Photo credit: Xia Zhi