In the early 2019, the space of Atelier Li Xinggang was moved from the 7th floor of building 2, no. 19, Chegongzhuang Street to the 11th floor of BIM building built recently. In the ordinary working space of this office building located in the courtyard at the depth of city, using furnitures, display racks and boards, large-scale models and an outdoor architectural sketch and so on, the architects micro-transformed the office space that can accommodate both normalized office needs and exhibition requirements in this deep urban compound office building. Through the field and the daily work, this shows the scene about the thinks and works of a Chinese contemporary architect, which named “Integrated Geometry and Poetic Scenery: the Working Place of A Chinese Contemporary Architect”.
▼从文兴西街看19号院创新楼，View of the BIM building from Wenxing West Street
▼号院创新楼北侧，North side of the BIM building
The BIM building has 14 floors of height. The entire building form is reduced from a rectangle to a right-angled triangle along the diagonal and forms a geometrically arranged “artificial mountain” on the southeastern side of the volume, with the roof terrace stacked from low to high levels. The building’s 11th floor where the studio is located is just at the highest layer of the receding volume. The interior plan is in the form of a trapezoid that narrows from south to north, with one large and one small outdoor roof terrace connected at the southeast corner.
▼工作室布局轴测图，Axonometric drawing ©李兴钢建筑工作室
The immersive section 1 at the entrance hall was made by Lego 2 (completed in 2008) and the drawing of “Poetic Scenery City” (completed in 2020) which is made by six vertical rotating screens. Small and grand scene, stereoscopic and planar pictures, together form the entrance scenic focal point. The back of rotating screen can be used as daily nail board, which can rotate to form different space for different requirements.
▼沉浸式体验区，The immersive section 1
▼乐高2号与“胜景城市图”，Lego 2 and the drawing of “Poetic Scenery City”
The adjacent immersive section2 is consist of the “Set-All” Seats (completed in 2015) and a 1:1.5 model of the sunshade window from the project of Chinese Embassy in Spain (completed in 2011). The two are set opposite each other, forming an interesting dialogue between “cohesion” and “extrinsic feature”, “seeing” and “being seen”. The architects gather and sit down to read and discuss, becoming a sight in the sunshade window.
▼沉浸式体验区二，The immersive section 2
▼沉浸式体验区二 局部，Partial view of the immersive section 2
The immersive section 3 focuses on the studio’s recent Shanghai East Museum project (designed in 2017). The 1:50 partially dissected plain white model acts as a giant “uncanny object” in the space, and forms a semi-enclosed space for sole thinking with the help of benches. Through the hole of the model, one can see the survey drawings of “Penglai Pavilion” (drawn by Li Xinggang, 1989) unfolding slowly on the opposite. These two together suggest a search for an ideal world made of man-made and natural elements.
▼沉浸式体验区三，The immersive section 3
▼沉浸式体验区三 局部，Partial view of the immersive section 3
Between immersive section 2 and 3, with the clues of six key words which is “experience”, “habitat”, “scale”, “density”, “order”, “nature”, 12 models and display racks of recent projects are connected together to work as the theme display area. They are large or small, horizontal or vertical, dividing and connecting the space, dialoguing and unfolding layer by layer. At the same time, the linear arrangement of the modular shelves along the east curtain wall, the display shelf system is derived from the scaffolding in the “Instantaneous Peach Garden” project. A large number of working models from the studio’s nearly 20 years of experience have been stored and displayed on the shelves, which have created a rich and vivid spatial interface.
▼主题作品展示区，The theme display area
▼主题作品展示区 局部，Partial view of the theme display area
▼主题作品展示区，The theme display area
▼展架系统，The display shelf system
The immersive section 4, located near the model workshop in the southeast corner of the site, is centered around the “Instantaneous Peach Garden” project (completed in 2015) and an outdoor rooftop terrace. At the northern end of the terrace, a small pavilion is built by converting moon-shaped spandrel beams into columns and doubling as an awning for accessing the terrace, which gently peers into the city from the “artificial mountain cliff” on the east elevation of the building, like a light kite pulled by the columns. (Completed in 2020). As night falls, architects sit around at the pavilion to have a rest after busy work, taking in the panoramic view of the city of Beijing, which has embraced the vicissitudes of a thousand years of history and development. Which is a picture of “Urban Poetic Scenery”.
▼沉浸体验区四 室内部分，The indoor part of he immersive section 4
▼沉浸体验区四 室外平台，The terrace of the immersive section 4
Several groups of wooden furniture appear constantly at these experience areas which are built by basic form of language in booth of “Set-All” Seats (completed in 2015), which hinted a series of physical behaviors. In the immersive section 1, the front desk of “Floating” is not only the continuation of wooden bookshelf, but also a mediation (body scale) between micro scale (Lego 2) and macro scale (“Poetic Scenery City”). In the immersive section 2, new and old wooden furniture form a more complete enclosure, which also provide more possibility for sitting (booth, bench, bar, etc.). In experience area 3, abstract model (large-scale model of the project of Shanghai East Museum) and abstract furniture (wooden armchair and bar) and plants together work as key elements of space, enclosing a semi-private “Inner room”.
▼体验区一 前台，The front desk of the immersive section 1
▼体验区二 新旧木质家具，The new and old wooden furniture of the immersive section 2
▼体验区三 半私密的“内室”，The semi-private “Inner room” of the immersive section 3
▼展架、咖啡桌系统图 & 钢制展架，System diagram of the display shelves and the coffee table & The steel display shelves
With 16mm slim square steel tubes forming an abstract grid of vertical rows in the space, and moon shape beams tying the rows together horizontally and bringing a sense of identity, the steel display shelves become another important clue in the space. The moon shape beam can change the width flexibly according to the size of models, leading to the elimination of traditional display rack and “Floating” of the model in space. At the bottom of the rack on the line of the exhibition, square steel tubes are replaced with sheet steel board to ensure the security, which can be converted to work as the outside coffee table. The Moon Wild Pavilion on the rooftop terrace looks like a horizontal display rack, with 3 enlarged moon shape beams as columns, drawing a slender but definite line in the sky of the city.
▼月野亭下& 月野亭系统图，View under the Moon Wild Pavilion & System diagram
▼施工过程，The Moon Wild Pavilion under construction
The intervention and transformation of daily working space through exhibition, is not only a concentrated presentation of design philosophy and design works of Atelier Li Xinggang’s “Integrated Geometry and Poetic Scenery”, but also a real presentation of modern Chinese architects’ workplace, an exhibition that can be constantly changed and will never close. These realized and unrealized works are originally scattered in the nature and city, as if they form another diachronic “virtual” micro-city here, documenting in fragmentary form how the contemporary city that architects serve has moved from the past to the present, and how it might enter the future.
展讯+书讯： “胜景几何：一个中国当代建筑师的工作现场”展览将于2020年9月16日下午正式开幕，届时新书《行者图语》《胜景几何论稿》《李兴钢2001-2020》将同步发布。配合展览开幕及新书发布而举办的 “观想做：中国建筑师工作法的传承与实验”学术沙龙将于2020年9月26日下午举办。
Exhibition and Book news: “Integrated Geometry and Poetic Scenery: the Working Place of A Chinese Contemporary Architect” will be opened on the afternoon of September 16, 2020. At that time, the new books “Wandering, Walking, Viewing, Living”, “Essays of Integrated Geometry and Poetic Scenery”, “Li Xinggang 2001-2020” will be published simultaneously. In order to cooperate with the opening ceremony of the exhibition and the release of new books, the academic salon named “Envisioning, Thinking, Making: Inheritance and Experiment in A Chinese Architect’s Working Method” will be held on the afternoon of September 26, 2020.
Venue of the exhibition and salon: 11th floor of the BIM Building, No. 19 Chegongzhuang Street, Xicheng District, Beijing.
▼开幕式及论坛海报，Posters for the exhibition and salon
视频音乐：《Alone in Kyoto》- Air
Project name: Micro-Renovation of the Space of Atelier Li Xinggang and Exhibition Design of “Integrated Geometry and Poetic Scenery: the Working Place of A Chinese Contemporary Architect”
Architect’ Firm: Atelier Li Xinggang
Contact e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lead Architects: Li Xinggang, Jiang Wenlin, Yuan Zhimin, Hou Xinjue, Deng Jianxiang, Kong Xianghui
Project location: Beijing
Completion Year: 2020
Renovation Built Area (square meters):500㎡
Photo credits: Hou Xinjue, Guo Wenjia, Yuan Zhimin
Structure Consultant: Dong Yue
Construction Consultant: Yan Jianming
Manufacturer: Beijing Boshi Wenyi Furniture Co., Ltd
Construction: China Science and technology construction and Development Co., Ltd
Video credits: Zhang Yuting, Yuan Zhimin, Kong Xianghui
Video music: 《Alone in Kyoto》- Air