Next to Shenyang North Railway Station, Dongmaoku is the first-generation logistic park in P.R. China. The value of these industrial buildings has been ignored due to their isolation. This site will be occupied by a recent real estate development with only seven warehouses left to be preserved with functional regeneration. There are three challenges for the regeneration: How to highlight the use-value of the historical heritage? How to show their architectural beauty? How to solve the conflicts between the reuse and the current code? This project is located in an old neighborhood lacking of public amenities. Under the concept of spatial justice, the design idea is to take advantage of the high-end real estate development to improve the living quality of the old city and to realize space equality by urban renewal. Two old warehouses are jointed as an over two hundred meters long community center, and shapes the backdrop for an open park. Planned as a wedding hall, the connector between the two warehouses mimics the roof truss of the old warehouse nave. This white structure defines a romantic and elegant entrance and makes the simple and unadorned old warehouse stand out. Each warehouse is entered from its end, and the entry unit is designed as a greenhouse. This is a new typology: both warehouses have a spatial sequence with a garden at the beginning. The entrance of the west side library uses the theme of "Maze of Reading Park" to give a spectacular reading experience, and the "Garden of Eden" in the east gives a surprising image to exhibition hall visitors. This welcoming green scene would become a good gift for the neighborhood in the northern cold region. The original wooden structure is replaced with the new steel structure system to comply with the current structural and fire codes. Through the integration of meticulous cultural preservation design, structural design, and construction design, this structure conversion visually maintains the integrity of the original structure. The renovation of the old actually inspires new space concepts. In an era of online reading, the only way to rescue physical reading is to create an attractive physical atmosphere. The existing warehouse space provides a sacred aura for a reading hall, and the greenhouse introduces an unconventional reading room typology. On the exhibition center side, the typical customer service space is designed as a garden to make an intimate atomosphere. This design maintains the characteristics of the original buildings to the largest extent, and gives them new life through creative design.
WANG Hui is founding partner of URBANUS. He is an architect licensed in New York State, a RIBA Chartered Architect, and a council member of the Architectural Society of China. He is also a studio master at the Architecture School at Tsinghua University and a visiting professor at the Center of Architecture Research and Design, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences. WANG Hui served as an editorial board member for The Journal of Architecture and other major academic journals. In addition to publishing many research articles on interpreting contemporary society with architectural view, he has also won numerous awards.
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