URBANUS Architecture & Design / Yan MENG - Kingway Brewery Renovation, preservation and rehabilitation over demolition and waste
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Kingway Brewery Renovation, preservation and rehabilitation over demolition and waste

URBANUS Architecture & Design / Yan MENG

Renovation  /  Completed
URBANUS Architecture & Design / Yan MENG

Located in downtown Shenzhen City, The Kingway Brewery has been mostly demolished, leaving scattered industrial remnants across 11,600 square meters. Through innovative design strategies of integration, insertion, and intervention, the industrial buildings and equipment remnants are renovated into urban public spaces encompassing exhibition halls, forum and performance areas, bars & restaurants, shops, and landscaped gardens. The newly renovated Kingway Brewery opened to the public as the main venue of the 2022 Shenzhen-Hongkong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture, it also served as WORK Number 0 for the exhibition. While preserving the city’s memory, this project has transformed the former single production facility into a landmark of the diverse cultural milieu.

The building type of Kingway Brewery provides a unique spatial experience while the free-standing structures are scattered loosely. The design connects the beginnings and ends of several industrial buildings by scooping out volumes of the existing plinth, form intervention, and integration. The plinth is a legacy landform barricading the brewery which measured 1.65 meters above the street on the westbound and 3 meters on the east; now permeable for paths coalescing the scattered structures to confront the new urban complex over watching the site. The design transformed the plinth into a porous terrain for palimpsest storytelling. Visitors are encouraged to meander through the industrial past to the present cityscape alongside the theme gardens and various openings.

The renovation design prioritizes preservation and rehabilitation, avoiding unnecessary demolition and waste generation. Existing structures and elements such as original sewage stations, fermentation tanks, pipelines, and landforms have been repurposed and integrated into the new design, minimizing the need for new materials.

The choice of materials also reflects the project's commitment to sustainability. The natural texture of exposed concrete of the existing buildings not only provides aesthetic appeal but also contributes to resource efficiency. The design allows for ample natural light to enter the spaces, reducing the reliance on artificial lighting during the day.

Creative use of the "plinth" concept: by utilizing the height difference with the surrounding city, a "plinth" space is created, integrating the dispersed industrial buildings and equipment remnants of Kingway Brewery within the site and establishing a narrative spatial axis. Each space within the plinth showcases its unique characteristics. The plinth effectively incorporates and resolves surrounding obstacles like the neighboring mall entrance and the gas pressure reduction station, blending them seamlessly into its volume. This integration fosters connections with the surrounding environment and activates the entire site.

Diversity of spatial forms and flow lines: By preserving the existing concrete structures and introducing key spatial interventions, the project excavates the hidden industrial building remnants buried underground, resembling an archaeological process. Each building is evaluated for its appearance, structure, and load-bearing capacity, and undergoes personalized transformations to create flexible and adaptable activity spaces. Multiple interconnected spaces are created, with the path of beer production becoming a maze for people to explore.

Contrast of materials for architectural beauty: Reinforcing existing structures and revealing raw concrete, the project juxtaposes materials like ceramic tiles, glass-infused concrete panels, and terrazzo floors with foam and cast aluminum, creating captivating textures.

The renovation of Kingway Brewery by URBANUS has exceeded our expectations in preserving the essence of our industrial heritage while transforming the space into a cultural landmark. The thoughtful integration of historical elements, showcases the brewery's legacy. The project's adaptive reuse of spaces, and attention to detail have created a vibrant and inviting environment. it has become a cherished destination for locals and visitors alike since its opening on last December.


 Guangdong Yuehai Land Holdings Limited
 mixed use (culture&commercial)
 12309 mq
 Meng Yan / URBANUS
 Building Renovation Team - Project Architect: Wen Ting (Design Development), Milutin Cerovic (Bidding); Project Manager: Zhang Haijun (Design Development), Wendy Wu (Bidding); Team: Ni Ruoning, Cheng Zhidi, Yuan Ruizhe, Dong Wenhan, Yue Ran, Lin Yanyu, Liao Guotong (Design Development) | Zheng Zhi, Yue Ran (Bidding) | Li Rui, Rachael H Gaydos, Huang Jingxian, Wang Yuchu, Lin Kan, Gao Qingyue, Chen Yining, Zhang Chengjie, Zhou Jie (Internship); Landscape Design | Project Architect: Zhang Xuejuan | Project Manager: Li Guanda | Team: Zhu Jiangchen, Gao Yufeng; Research & Curation - Wendy Wu (Director) | Wu Siying, Liu Yuxin (Execution) | Yang Ruixin, Wang Qinxue (Exhibition Research) | Wang Qinxue (Bidding, Development) | Mo Sifei, Zhu Hongrui (Bidding) | Song Yu, Peng Yuanlu (Internship)
 Collaborators - (LDI) Structure/ MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing): China Academy of Building Research; Interior Design: Studio 10 Co., Ltd. / Shenzhen Jiusi Interior Design Co., Ltd.; Technical Support and Construction of Cast-aluminum Installation: RoboticPlus.AI; Curtain Wall Design: TUANHOOC; Graphic Design: SURE Design; Lighting Design: zdp (z design & planning)
 TAL, Right Angle Image


Founded in 1999, under the leadership of partners Xiaodu Liu, Yan Meng and Hui Wang, URBANUS is recognized as one of the most influential architecture practices in China. URBANUS developed it’s branches in Beijing, Shenzhen. Many works have become new landmarks of urban life. The projects have received prominent awards, exhibited and published worldwide. URBANUS is now exploring opportunities for international and multidisciplinary collaborations to conduct a series of research projects focused on the contemporary urban China phenomena, including creative city development, post-urban village development, typologies for hyper-density and others. The projects of URBANUS have drawn international attention due to the firm’s sensitivity to urban, historical, and social structures, its ability to integrate the potential resources in space and society, and its effectiveness in responding to the complexities of the urban environment.


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