Lead ArchitectsYuchen Guo, Alex Darsinos
Text description provided by the architects. In the center of the largest Jade Market in Guangzhou, a few old houses sit at the end of the small path leading to the Hualin Temple. Characteristic of the old and aged, these houses have narrow, small and dark rooms. The client was looking to create a new type of jade store that would leave a clear and fresh impression on the visitors.
Studio Yuda designed the ZHY HOUSE as a new Jade retail experience. Different from the traditional Jade store, ZHY HOUSE focuses on programmatic diversity and spatial comfort. Combining clothing, ceramics and tea, the design uses simple harmonies of materiality and tone to create a lifestyle store.
The new exterior wall flattens the original staggering profile of the façade and creates a strong identity for the building. This creates an abstract and clean exterior with dynamic spaces between the new and the old. Square openings of varying sizes are arranged in a shifting composition, revealing the interior spaces at various depths. The addition not only expresses the programmatic diversity between floors but also adds display windows to the street. The simple composition of white wall and square openings creates a holistic facade in relationship to the plaza.
The ground floor functions as jade display and retail. The addition of the façade creates a narrow double height space that alleviates the discomfort created by the limited floor height. A gently curved counter draws people further into the space. The golden drop light follows the curvature of the counter, reinforcing the movement.
In the front, the counter is pushed against the wall creating a small room for display. The counter then curves to divide the space and serve as a table for four. At the end of the room is a small door that leads to the tea table in the backyard. The stair is made of cast-on-site pink terrazzo, making the space fun and inviting.
The second floor doubles as a clothing shop and a tea room. The height of the room creates an intimate space that encourages visitors to sit down. The materiality and light lightens and softens the space. Light grey terrazzo runs from the floor up the wall while the seats are made with pink cherry wood.
On the third level, the floor is elevated to create a subtle threshold. There are built-in closets. This is a space where the employees both rest and organize. Using simple whites, the design focuses on the relationship between light and the column-beam frame of the original structure. An additional one meter deep storefront is added at the end of the room facing the plaza. There is a small window on each flight of the stair looking to the backyard.
A bathroom and a small patio are located on the fourth floor. The wall is entirely covered in white concrete and the selection of simple black fixtures gives the space a strong minimal vibe. The patio has raised concrete seats covered in burnt wood and a central pink terrazzo coffee table.
ZHY HOUSE is conceived as an architectural interior. The design is simple and light. Curtains of various transparencies are used in contrast to dark green, pink and light grey terrazzo. The texture of stone and lightness of the fabric are the interior expression of the jade and clothing. While preserving the intimate scale of the plaza, the new design also brings a modern atmosphere to the place.