Architect: Tao Lei Architect Studio
Location: North Street of East Imperial City of Beijing, China
Project Area: 600 sqm
Project Year: 2006
Photographs: Courtesy of Tao Lei Architect Studio
Located on the north street of the east imperial city of Beijing, BOYI gallery is a renovation project for the culture department of China. This urban part used to be a dormitory area belonging to the department and consisted of old apartments called “cylinder”. Just within one of these buildings our gallery has been plugged into the ground. This kind of brick-concrete structure is simple inside functionally and spatially and lack of supposed energy outside. The site is facing the imperial remains park constructed for the sake of old district environment renovation. These conditions can never fulfill the need of an art gallery full of activities, so new approaches must been found to break the restrictions of existing inner space and interactions should be created between street space and it. That is the key to the reincarnation of the “specimen” building.
The existing plan has several rooms separated by structure walls which are almost impossible to alter and it is the traditionally small square windows that wrap around the building, these really are disadvantages for a fluent gallery space. Now we have to try to solve all these problems just within the mere 1.5m space between elevations and the pedestrian way to establish subtle dialogue between imperial remains park and it. We unify the architecture elevation with 50mm pre-punched metal panels at a distance of 1.5m from it that forms the a gray space of totality accommodating functions like gallery entrance, glass coffee box ,exhibition corridor and the bamboo courtyard. Ensuring the park view of the costumers inside the coffee box and gallery corridor, the transitional space generated between the building and the street acts like a visual magnet for the pedestrian at the same time. The skin uses translucent material whose color is the mud rotted-metal red which is according to the light red paint of the old buildings that form a subtle chromatic variation in harmony with the old district environment. Delicate definition of space is set up between the pre punched and rotted metal wall and the functional space inside. It is just the 1.5m addition that creates a new architecture entity, makes the gallery space full of art features and bring life to the surroundings.
Text provided by Tao Lei Architect Studio.