co(al)-yard / reMIX studio

co(al)-yard / reMIX studio

gif. Image © Zhi Xiainterior bamboo garden. Image © Zhi Xialayering and transparencies. Image © Zhi Xiathe bamboo garden. Image © Zhi Xia+ 24

Beijing, China
  • Architects: reMIX studio
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  930
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2019
  • Photographs Photographs:  Zhi Xia
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: HAY, Bentu, Kelan glass
  • Design Team:Chen Chen, Nicola Saladino, Federico Ruberto, Alexandre Braleret, Liu Yangyang, Chen Si, Chen Muzhi, Zhang Mi, Duan Jintong, Chen Xinxing, Chen Yuxuan, Li Xin, Rita Wang
  • Lighting Design:Kaihe Studio
  • Structure Consultant:Lixin Ji
  • City:Beijing
  • Country:China
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Text description provided by the architects. The project is located in the historic neighborhood of Xuanwumen, Beijing. Hidden in a small quiet alley and flanked by a primary school on the Southeast side and an important Roman Catholic Church on the West side, the plot was formerly occupied by a coal factory that was decommissioned ten years ago and left abandoned ever since.

West façade at sunset. Image © Zhi Xia
West façade at sunset. Image © Zhi Xia
West façade
West façade

Underneath a thick coat of black dust inherited from the years of the ash-spitting furnaces, pretty much the totality of the plot area was covered, leaving just narrow gaps between the metallic roofs to cast a blade of light to the interiors. After freeing up the central yard from a metallic roof structure, three buildings with very different typologies stood around it: on the North side a traditional pitched-roof grey-brick house guarded the entrance, as the last remain of the original hutong fabric; in the West, a warehouse shed with a long sequence of wooden trusses transformed the deep space into a crumbling basilica filled with coal; finally, at the Southern end, a red brick boxy building hid in its deep basement the noisy industrial production.

design process
design process

The client’s goal was to redevelop the 800sqm plot into a flexible office space that would target young and dynamic offices. The brief included a series of functional requirements ranging from conventional small office units to open working spaces, meeting rooms, a dining area and a kitchen, but we were also asked to design the layout in a way that it could allow future tenants to host events and gatherings for large crowds.

various interior spaces . Image © Zhi Xia
various interior spaces . Image © Zhi Xia

Due to the strict preservation guidelines of Beijing historical city center, the renovation had to maintain intact the volumetry of the courtyard so our intervention focuses on a new interface with the garden and redefines the interior spaces, preserving all the columns perimetral brick walls and reconstructing the industrial pitched roof without trusses, in order to maximize the headroom.

the bamboo garden. Image © Zhi Xia
the bamboo garden. Image © Zhi Xia
suspended mezzanine. Image © Zhi Xia
suspended mezzanine. Image © Zhi Xia

The functions are organized as a series of boxes of various sizes piled up within the existing envelop; their different heights depend on their function and the degree of privacy required and their distribution responds to the pace of the original structure. The “negative volumes” between the boxes provide flexible double-height spaces that can easily incorporate new future functional requirements and create an interesting rhythm of compressions and decompressions along the main axis.

interior bamboo garden. Image © Zhi Xia
interior bamboo garden. Image © Zhi Xia
interior bamboo garden
interior bamboo garden
layering and transparencies. Image © Zhi Xia
layering and transparencies. Image © Zhi Xia

The roof is carved in multiple locations to form light wells and interior gardens, spreading a diffused light throughout all the working areas and generating new views towards the surroundings. The new glazed atriums help organize the functional areas and expand the perceived depth, multiplying it through a series of reflections. They not only provide natural illumination and ventilation to the full depth of the building, but also work as encapsulated fragments of nature that one can contemplate while working: a tree branch cut out from a squared patch of sky, the reflection of the sun onto the marble cross of the nearby church...

double-height spaces. Image © Zhi Xia
double-height spaces. Image © Zhi Xia

Finally, a continuous dark steel ribbon meanders across the whole project to navigate through and connect across the three buildings, taking multiple configurations: a reception entrance, a covered hallway, a mezzanine suspended in the central space or a staircase leading to the rooftop terrace. This band of steel is the physical materialization of the new circulation as well as a memory of the industrial past of the buildings.

exterior spaces: a quiet garden with a view and the stair to the roof terrace. Image © Zhi Xia
exterior spaces: a quiet garden with a view and the stair to the roof terrace. Image © Zhi Xia

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Project location

Address:No.54 Youfang Hutong,Xuanwu District, Beijing, China

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "co(al)-yard / reMIX studio " 07 Jan 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/931313/co-al-yard-remix-studio> ISSN 0719-8884
water garden. Image © Zhi Xia

北京煤院新生 / reMIX studio

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