Year: 2018 - 2019
Size: 330 m2
Type: office
Status: construction documents
Location: Beijing, China
Client: Huarong Group

Partners in charge: Chen Chen
Design team: Alexandre Braleret, Shoutuo Lyu, Muzhi Chen, Yiren Wang, Si Chen, Yuxuan Chen, Yumeng Liu, Mi Zhang, Xin Li, Xinxing Chen

The project is located in the historic neighbourhood of Baita Temple as one of the pilot project for the Baitasi Renovation Project. Our client’s wish was to reunite the two neighbouring courtyards and transform them into a modern office, which would include meeting rooms, open spaces, leisure areas and a lecture room.

The site is rather challenging as the two existing buildings have distinctive features and architectural styles: the first building on the west courtyard (171 square meters) formerly used as paper factory is made of brick walls with a flat roof whereas the second building on the east courtyard (98 square meters) is a more recently built shelter with traditional wooden structure and sloping ceramic roof.

Our main goal was to design a coherent space where the specific nature of the two existing buildings would blend resulting in a homogeneous spatial experience with only few moments of contrast. The intervention takes the shape of a white loop that joints together two buildings with different materials and structural systems.

The loop unfolds both horizontally and vertically becoming the dynamic framework-structure of the scheme. The loop is twisted in a two-ring structure extended over the two courtyards, taking the shape of stairs, ramps, balustrades, mezzanine and roof terraces; the loop not only provides the required connections of all added spaces but also transforms two unused and oddly proportioned courtyards into a single space. Its abstract, materially neutral nature makes it an element of mediation that redefines the dialogue between the old and the new.

In order to make the best out of the relatively small footprint of the site, a traditional and rigid office partition system was replaced by a more dynamic open plan with blurred boundaries where work, group activities, casual conversations and other gatherings take place in a seamless way. By using materials such as glass, metal mesh and other perforated steel plates with different levels of opacity, a series of subtle demarcations between private and public areas are made possible even in such limited conditions.

The two originally divided courtyards are programmatically interlaced by series of functional areas scattered on different levels (semi-recessed into the ground, at existing level and at a new second floor) with the existing rooftop transformed into an accessible platform where one can enjoy the quiet flow of people and whispers of this ancient alleys.





对于玻璃、金属网、穿孔板等具有不同通透性与私密性的材质的使用,在有限的空间中,创造了一系列微妙的层次。The Loop在两个院落形成了双环的构架,不仅实现了所有功能空间的室内连接,同时也将原本过于空旷而缺乏围合的两个院落转化为两个尺度宜人,气氛与材质不同的惬意庭院。它帮助将原先呆板平淡的空间分隔成一系列功能区域,并串联成一个收放有致的空间序列。传统僵化的功能分区被打破,取而代之的是一个边界更加模糊的活动综合体。这种开放式自由平面的格局,使得办公、谈话、讨论、休闲、聚会等活动可以轻松自由的发生。