Youth Activity Center | Renovated from Old Garment Plant
REDe Architects+Moguang Studio
The project site was originally a garment manufacturing factory covering an area of 5,000 sqm in BeizhuangTown. We retained the original layout of factory buildings, and renovated it into a youth activity center which is comprised of youth education camp along with classroom, restaurant, conference room and accommodations.
How to reactivate such an old industrial site without rich heritage and distinctive spatial features? In response to various limitations and functional demands, different renovation strategies were adopted for the 12 single buildings. As opposed to setting a unified style for those buildings, we put emphasis on the relationship between individual buildings, the whole architectural complex and its surroundings. The site is surrounded by factories and mountains. During renovation, we created friendly spatial scales, and inserted a series of structures such as walkway, corridor, small square and transitional yard to link the north zone' activity space with accommodations in the south area and to produce continuous, three-dimensional landscape experiences.
Our interpretation of space is not only focused on single buildings, but rather, by keeping the original walls, concentrating the experience of spatial narratives on the relationship between individual buildings and the mountainous. By setting up a series of landscape facilities, we connect the activity space of the northern courtyard to the accommodation area of the southern courtyard for a sequence of spatial experience through different levels.
In order to liberate children's perception and imagination, we abandoned conventional forms as conceiving the circular walkway's structures and the spatial design. Slanting columns were chosen to support the suspended walkway, forming an undulating pattern that resembles "sine waves" in mathematics. Besides, the double-helix structure of the circle is endowed with a precise proportional relationship. In this way, the space offers alternating experiences, either dynamic or static. Moreover, the fire reservoir outlet at the middle of the lawn was designed into a wedge-shaped optical pavilion, which blends the blue sky into the lawn area.
We use the existing height difference to create a flowing waterscape between the northern and southern courtyards, where a capsule courtyard is inserted to connect the areas for accommodation and restaurants and the northern courtyard.
The Youth Activity Center in the North Area
The northernmost original brick and reinforced concrete building on the site had few openings, resulting in poor lighting, which did not meet the requirements for contemporary use. Therefore, we removed the original building in the north and placed a row of entrance lobby, which is a single-sided cantilevered structure in the shape of umbrella ribs. It eases the pressure of the mass of the 70-meter-long and 7-meter-high factory building on the street entrance, as well as people’s experience of transition from the north square to the Youth Activity Center. The interior of the lobby is made up of seven inscribing semi-circular glass boxes, which function as the main entrance to the Youth Activity Center, the cafe area and the concept store of creative items, like continuous small settlements.
Restaurant and Multifunctional Room in the North Area
The factory on the east side of the site is close to the country road. Larger rooms such as the multifunctional room, restaurant and kitchen that require business to the public are arranged here. In order to solve the problem of poor lighting and thermal performance in the original factory that is too deep, we removed the original blockboard roof, repaired and reinforced the original wall that is only 5.4 meters high, and added a second floor of steel structure. We reserved an open-air courtyard at the diagonal position in the previous plan, and retained the original concrete bent structure to continue the sense of order in the original components. Temporally, the original "inside" and the current "outside" overlap in the same space.
Hostel Reception Hall in the South Area
The original structural system of the southern building complex, with a north-south layout, was a brick load-bearing wall and wooden truss roof. The original function was dormitory and canteen. Based on the original building structure and layout, we added a water supply and drainage system, and improved the thermal performance in the buildings, which were converted into guestrooms.
The abandoned canteen in the factory has been transformed into the hostel’s reception hall. We retained the mottled green paint wall skirt and fair-faced concrete prefabricated roof in the original building, and inserted stainless steel sanitary and storage modules, fair-faced concrete bar counters and stainless steel booths.
Guestrooms in the South Area
In order to echo the textures and scales of the existing buildings within the site, we haveused fair-faced brick walls to separate the internal space. For the external courtyard walls and paving between each guestroom, fair-faced red bricks, all of which are recycled from nearby demolished villages, are also employed. From the hostel’s main entrance to the guestroom area, we used low walls, courtyards and vegetation to create a discrete but continuous path for outdoor experience, where privacy and publicness are subtly connected and distinguished.
The renovated space accommodates our vision and expectation for the children's daily growth. Diverse and open space allows more possibilities for subsequent use and evolves with time.
Liangzijia (Beijing) Culture Development Co., Ltd.
Li Jiaying, Feng Xi
Moguang Studio was co-founded by Feng Xin and Li Jiaying in Beijing in 2019.
The studio name "Moguang" implies the unfolding and closing status of a folding fan, which indicates our working and research approach: finding a starting point and extending it to a broader realm that's acurate yet blurred. Our design practices cover a wide spectrum of fields, ranging from architecture, landscape and interior to furniture and art exhibition, etc.
We stick to the whole-process control of every project, from preliminary planning to conceptual design and execution. Apart from delivering design schemes, we also work on construction drawings and supervise construction, trying to solve various problems occurring during construction and ensure the optimal realization of design goals.