- Design Team:Jie Su, Xin Liu, Haochi Zhang, Tianyu Wang
Text description provided by the architects. Air Studio’s project, located in Dajing Lane of Hangzhou, China, was officially completed in the summer of 2019. Invested by local pioneer lifestyle brand “Random” (Party A), this project constructs an integrated space for Random’s two sub-brands, “Ceremorning” and “Random Play.” This two-story project rests on a street uniquely recognized by its Ming-Qing dynasty architectural style. The lower space is designed specifically for “Ceremorning,” which serves light snacks and coffee, while the upper floor is designated to “Random Play’s” art display and exhibition. Air Studio attempts to convey its studio concepts and visions through this project, aiming to place two sub-brands vertically in the allocated space and showcase their independence by dividing and layering up space. In the meantime, under the relatively unified design concepts and architectural elements, the project also highlights the interdependence of the two sub-brands.
Air Studio aspires to take control of the disposition perceived by visitors. Wood, as a primary material, possesses the most suitable temperature characteristics for people to interact with it physically. It is employed in the design of the facade so that the project could better blend in the context while maintaining the ancient architectural style on Daijing Lane, which reflects the sense of Air Studio’s responsibility and concern for the community environment. Interiorly, Air Studio managed to curate a space with different layers of materiality by different scales of wooden objects.
Nevertheless, instead of purely adhering to a classic design style, Air Studio hopes to bring in a dialogue between the tradition and the contemporary, the old and the new. The curved walls connecting the first and second floors are formally inspired by the western cylindrical order, and the space enclosed by the curved surfaces is a detachment and respect of the two Ming and Qing wooden pillars standing in front of it. The juxtaposition of two languages is the resonance as well as the departure of the old. The shifting light and shadow hint at the entrance of the artistic environment, and the sense of “formality” responds well to the integration of culture and the transition of space. The material used here is called Corian, which is a composite stone. Unlike conventional stone materials, this composite material can be reshaped and remodeled by heat bending, making the curved wall an entirely seamless piece.
Additionally, Air Studio takes charge of every aspect of the design of the project, ranging from the more macro space design to the micro-design of the linear tables and curved display racks. The comprehensive engagement ensures that the composition of the overall space is well-crafted as an assemblage of art pieces in their respective orders.