The unordered addition jams the whole factory area and makes it a genuine warren. The integral reformation combining drama culture and functional replacement is in the hope of bringing a new vitality to the waste urban body.
Respecting for the specific historical emotions of the courtyard, the hitting-point of the transformation strategy is to extend the accumulation of various industrial cultures, awake and arouse its inner vitality.
Breaking through the shackles of original structures, a unique space traveling system is leading the free and stereoscopic flowing growth of the initial traditional yards and alleys: some climb up circuitously from the ground courtyard to the roof garden; some fly crosswise from one house to another to form an air corridor; some straightly break into the room or underground and bring the sunshine, the air and the refreshing nature inside.
There is not an only route any more. Traffic moving lines evolved into irregular three-dimensional garden trails, which brought along interaction between indoor and outdoor space and scenery.
The unreachable and isolated inactive roofs in the factory are totally activated by the verandas and becoming well-proportioned floating hanging gardens. The different heights, landscape experiences and arrival patterns of each garden form a flow of scenery in the stereoscopic alleys.
Making up the shortfall of the limited ground space, the hanging gardens everywhere provide opportunity of closing to the nature for every internal unit. Moreover, the communication place for relax and encounter will bring creative inspirations. After breaking the rigid space, the diversity of environmental settlement will grow into the most suitable place for the ecological development of cultural creativity.
Contrary to the current architectural concept which is becoming finer day by day, materials and techniques with low precision and more direct construction methods are adopted during the renovation. Preserving the original shape and specification of steels, removing all unnecessary processes and decorations, the integrality and independence of every piece of material can be protected.
The joint constructions are made as simple and direct as possible to reveal the beauty of power and essence. The weathering steel, naturally mottled and rusted as time goes on, is now talking with the surrounding old brick walls in a whisper. The new buildings have become integrated with the overall historical atmosphere. Therefore the deep industrial temperament of the factory can be further strengthened with its cohesion power.
If the veranda system can be considered as the artery of the garden, then the warehouse theatre is the garden’s heart. The theatre is newly constructed on the former address of dilapidated buildings. Adopting the architectural structure of industrial warehouse, massive I-column steel and Corten steel panel, the massive industrial space of the warehouse strongly contrasts the fashion and living drama scenes.
When the night falls, when a shocking scene opens, the warehouse theatre walls toward the courtyard will be hung up slowly with the internal lightening and popularity gushed out. The drama and cultural life are no longer limited in a fixed space. The front yard becomes an outdoor theatre without boundary; the alleys become joint channels; the roofs and verandas are changed to air stages and stands; the terraces on the old brick houses become boxes… The gap between actors and audiences is eliminated; the estrangement between culture and life is vanishing. The whole garden becomes an omnipresent open theatre and then integrated with the comprehensive city life.
Reformation of Beijing Offset Printing Factory, Backstreet of Art Gallery Dongcheng District, Beijing
Program: Cultural and Creative Park
Architects: Origin Architect
Architect in Charge: Li Ji
Design Team: Zhang Hui, Lian Hui, Wang Jing
Engineering Design Support: Sunshine Firm
Technical Consultant: Ren Aidong
Client: Beijing Dongfangdaopu Culture Assets operation management Co. Ltd.