The new office of LYCS Architecture is a renovation design of a tower penthouse in downtown Hangzhou, with a panorama view of the West Lake World Heritage. The original space with is an non-professional add-on storage room to the tower roof composed of elevator mechanical room, fire escape doors and slanted drainage surfaces. The idea of this design is to create the juxtaposition of this abandoned storage space and the new office, through the material homogeneity to heterogeneity and temporal attenuation of space.
Architect: LYCS Architecture
Location: Hangzhou, China
Project Team: Hao Ruan, Xu Li, Peng Wang
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 350 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of LYCS Architecture
In celebrating the collectiveness and parallelism of the authentic architecture language and the self-built “dialects”, the design remains the imprint of several original elements in revealing its original non-professional property. The eroded columns were kept in contrast to the white steel frame of the roof. The elevated floor from the original slanted drainage roof is perforated and covered with removable glasses, in making the original roof surface explicit yet in depth. The fire escape door canopies and the rough ceramic wall are kept to imply the mutation from the abandoned storage space into an introverted architecture office, further to amplify the existing transformation from an exterior roof into an interior space.
The steel frame and walls are painted in creating a museum-like white space, as an exhibitive gesture to the remainders. Unlike a pure delicate white room, the painted walls with the original layer of mosaic and cracked texture give a level of ambiguity upon the completely new walls. The juxtaposition of fading ceramic wall segments with blocking and opening doors and the new white walls creates another level of heterogeneity.
The overlaying program of the heavy-industrial elevator mechanical room and the architecture office space attenuates time in creating its narratives. The broken orange roof door retired from its previous function as a guardian. It is moved thus respected as the interior door of the meeting room, in prolonging the lasting period of architectural elements and its space.
The design attempts to create the dialectical effect of architecture professionalism as the program is, and the non-professionalism in architecture. It celebrates multi-signatures over single signature, which also reveals one of the design philosophies of LYCS Architecture.