01 Natural and serene surroundings
Situated beside Yanhan Mountain, the building is very close to nature and not far away from the city as well. It boasts tranquil natural surroundings, and faces multiple building clusters and public spaces of OCT LOFT, Shenzhen.
The client's design brief didn't specify a clear direction for the renovation of the dilapidated building, so the architects had to identify a most appropriate solution among various possibilities.
02 Nature-facing building
The building consists of 5 floors. It adjoins a dormitory building and a court on east and south sides, and nestles under Yanhan Mountain on north and west sides. Before renovation, the first floor of the building was still in use, while the storeys above were in disrepair and leaky.
However, both the client and The designers saw new possibilities, hoping to bring people back to the building and feel the unique beauty of nature.
03 Combination of art and commerce
The project is situated within OCT LOFT, a creative and cultural park that has accumulated rich cultural resources over the years. Based on the surrounding business environment, the client hoped that commercial operations in the building emphasize nature, integration, rarity and complementarity. After investigation and research, the designers decided to carry out transformation and renovation based on three key points: combination of art and commerce, complementarity of catering space and workspace, and branding-oriented spatial operation.
Through renovating and repurposing the building, the architects aimed to create a distinctive and mix-used cultural complex, which integrates diversified functional spaces such as store, restaurant, art gallery, theater, workspace, etc. The team incorporated a series of new business modes into the architectural space, to reorganize and activate the old property, blend it with surrounding fabric, and create a new artistic destination for the city.
04 Iconic facades that blend into nature
New facades were naturally formed through enriching and integrating architectural spaces. The architects created large areas of blank surfaces and void spaces at staggering heights, and attached great importance to visitors' experience, including the journey of entering the building and interaction with outdoor environment from the interior. The team hoped that visitors would be touched by nature and stimulated to interact with the building along the way walking close to the architecture.
The east facade is partially hidden in nature. The original entrance of 1F is not used as the main entrance of the building, since the lease of the existing canteen on this floor hasn't expired yet. Instead, the architects made use of the height difference of the site, and set the main entrance beside the west square, which can be reached by pedestrians and vehicles along a slope.
Standing on the small yet open square in front of the main entrance, visitors can have a panoramic view of west and south facades of the building. The designers tried to create a holistic building surface. The whole architecture is like a hill, with stacked volumes extending to the sky and Yanhan Mountain.
05Multiple functions and diversified spaces
How to organize diversified functional areas in a reasonable manner and even leave space for future functional adjustment was a primary consideration. 2F is a vigorous space for pop-up market and exhibition, while 3F mainly functions as workspace. Restaurant, art gallery and theater are set on 4F and 5F. The fourth floor is the most complex space, which accommodates an urban exhibition hall, a bookstore, a gallery space, and theater entrance, etc.
4F - Urban Exhibition Hall
As the elevator reaches 4F, the urban exhibition hall will firstly come into view. The designers took advantage of the 1.2-meter height difference within the space, and created an experiential exhibition space where visitors can wander around.
After completion of the renovation, the designers curated an exhibition themed on "Concept of Dialogue" in this exhibition hall, which displayed the whole process of the project, from preliminary discussion to construction.
4F - Art gallery
Opposite to the bookstore is an art gallery, where the designers retained an existing structural column. The exposed reinforced concrete column contrasts with clean and smooth new walls, hence generating a dialogue between the old and new. Besides, it also functions as a clue to the art gallery, where original architectural structures were completely preserved.
The theater occupies the east side of 3F and 4F. The architects created several setbacks outside theater space, to form a double-height veranda, which guides people to enter the interior and allows them to enjoy and interact with greenery, sunshine and nature. This veranda blurs the boundary between the architecture and the surrounding environment. Steel columns at the corridor area are arranged in a row, which echoes flourishing plants nearby. Another entrance of the theater is set on 3F, which is flat and barrier-free.
5F - Restaurant
The restaurant sits on the top floor. Functional spaces including private dining rooms and kitchen are folded out around the central courtyard and based on external environment. The designers rotated those volumes and carved out the rooftops, to establish a relatively close relationship between the interior and nature. Each room has a triangular balcony, which helps enhance interaction with nature.
Around the central courtyard is an open-air veranda, which not only links different areas but also blends the space into nature. The veranda is supported by rectangular steel pillars, which are arranged in a matrix, endowing the space with a sense of lightness and order. The restaurant floor is covered by various materials including greenery, pebbles, corrosion-resistant wooden panels and cement, to demarcate different functional spaces.
Space is a medium to connect and reveal.Starting from this point of view, all of our thinking and practices in ONEXN lead to the essence of architecture, and that is exactly what ONE stands for.On the other hand, X stands for the multiple opportunities and challenges fromunknown fields when our architectural thinking interacts with the externalworld and bring about transformations and reactions where we can make somethingdifferent.
This multi-disciplinary team consists of professionals fromdifferent backgrounds including urban planners, architects, interior designers,and craftsperson. We emphasize on the integrality, innovativeness, andfeasibility throughout the project cycle, through themulti-disciplinecooperation, we aim to find the best solution in the process to balance manyfactors including concept, materials, technology, cost, construction,limitations. Systematic strategies are used to achieve cultural and spiritualspatial experience from the inspiration to finalization.