- Design Team : Yinqi Hu, Jiangjian Su, Michael Shi, Bruno Rodriguez, Tianyang Gu
- Landscape : Xiaohui Liu, Xiaoxuan Liu, Jiayue Tan
- Client : balabala, Semir Group
- City : Foshan Shi
- Country : China
Project Background. With the introduction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area policy, the city of Foshan has begun to attract public attention. In the 2020 selection of new Tier 1 cities, Foshan is among the new Tier 1 cities for the first time. Foshan’s profound Lingnan culture has also attracted more and more attention and has become a new regional urban cultural center. Recently, DUTS Design completed the renovation of a century-old Lingnan house located in Lingnan Tiandi, Foshan together with Chinese kids fashion brand balabala. It has been transformed into a brand new space named PARK by balabala, a park experience space that has no boundaries with nature, creating a composite space integrating clothing, parent-child leisure, culture, and fashion lifestyle, bringing people a brand-new upgraded immersive experience. The century-old Lingnan building was “rebirthed” with new vitality from the unbounded natural landscape and the fusion of new business forms.
Lingnan Style house has its unique regional cultural characteristics. Modern Lingnan architecture drew Western culture and formed a more pragmatic combination of east and west, creating the unique DNA of Lingnan's traditional architectural vocabulary, including gables, gray sculptures, brick carvings, dragon gates, and so on. Especially because of the unique gable shape, the well-known wok-ear house has become a typical representative of Lingnan traditional dwellings. Foshan Lingnan Tiandi is adjacent to Donghuali, a well-known cultural relics protection unit in the country, with a profound historical heritage and a lofty status admired by the whole city. On the basis of preserving the traditional Lingnan culture, it transformed a decaying historical district into new life. It not only created a new attractive commercial destination, but also revitalized the entire Foshan city center.
Innovative "repair the old as the old" renovation practice: Stimulate vitality with "altruism." DUTS Design accepted balabala’s commission to carry out the renovation of this historic old building in Lingnan Tiandi, Foshan. When the designer came to Foshan Lingnan Tiandi for the first time, he was deeply attracted by the local historical buildings and at the same time aroused many thoughts. Is it possible for a century-old building to be integrated with children and parent-child businesses? Can the original architectural pattern be used to create a new spatial experience? The project is located between the residential area and the Lingnan Tiandi Scenic Area, surrounded by greenery with a good ecological environment. The cultural environment, community conditions, and abundant vegetation in South China gave the designer "PARK" inspiration. "We want children to have fun here, adults feel relaxed, community residents feel convenient, and tourists feel that it has local cultural characteristics." "So, why not make it PARK where people can travel and relax?" So, a continuous, flexible, and inclusive space: PARK by balabala was born.
“Every building has its link with local culture, and the vitality of space also has its social attributes. The cultural characteristics of Lingnan architecture are precious historical treasures. We hope to take these precious The history and culture of the city are preserved and passed on to the children in a more contemporary and natural way. Here, we have created an "unbounded" park space for local residents and visitors, through the integration with the natural landscape, and innovative Lifestyle experience brings history and culture to life in modern life.” Sadi by Zhong Ling, the founder and chief architect of DUTS Design. The "only" transformation of the building's façade is to add a modern mirror element to the entrance door. This slight modification enhances the interaction between the house and the surrounding natural landscape, and people's lives. Spring flowers and autumn fruits have left their shadows on the facade of the building since then, allowing the building to show different images like natural growth over time and seasons.
Facade and Floor Plan Renovation: Inheritance and Altruism. Inheriting and absorbing Western culture, unification and harmony has always been the unique characteristics of Lingnan gardens. In this project, the designer hopes to show the inheritance of the ancient Lingnan architectural garden and its inherent innovative features. Facade renovation: This old house belongs to three wok-ear houses with two corridors, with a simple appearance. The designer basically retains the complete facade of the building with traditional Lingnan cultural characteristics. The brick carvings of the "Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea" on the roof are looming in the green wall, retaining its historical heritage.
In terms of the spacious floor plan, the original Lingnan building layout was almost abandoned when it was used before, and the designer restored the “three-in and three-out” layout. The flow of people has been reorganized and fully optimized. The central axis of the space has become a "shortcut" and a restful "PARK" for people to freely shuttle into the Lingnan Tiandi Scenic Area, and bring more convenience and amusement to the surrounding communities. Combining the characteristics of the subtropical climate in South China, outdoor courtyards of different scales, combined with indoor glass patios and green walls, create a "green forest" in the busy city and become a resting place for citizens.
Organic integration of landscape and architecture. Combining with the "three-in and three-out" architectural pattern of the old Lingnan buildings, the three patios also bring different dialogue relationships due to their different spatial scales. The entrance bar has the largest courtyard space. The designer shows the largest amount of green to passers-by through the green wall and uses foliage plants to create the sense of tropical rainforest. Through the transparent steel structure staircase and the mirrored stainless steel on the opposite side, PARK's vigor and green space concept are highlighted.
The small garden in the atrium is more of a contrasting way. Although the patio is small, it has two floors. We have retained and restored a quiet old courtyard in the modern PARK by balabala space as if it had been growing quietly in this old house. The bluestone slabs with traces of the years can be seen on the street, the brick walls covered in the original patio, wooden doors, two wicker chairs, a pot of tea, layers of rich green, the use of various mirrors in the space makes this garden from All angles are full enough to make it a green focus of the indoor space, allowing people in the space to feel the space-time dialogue brought by the two spaces through various windows and framed scenes. Preserving the historical deposits, and combining the new ecological landscape, interior design, and modern lifestyle, this century-old Lingnan building has now been reborn and has become a vibrant "PARK" for children and the community.
Extreme gray and bright yellow: perfect use in Interiors. The interior design is carried out in a modern and concise way. The designer hopes to use the eye-filled greenery to integrate with the entire building, and to create an interesting dialogue between this century-old house and the futuristic interior design vocabulary. The combination of gray bricks and modern metal in Lingnan's old buildings creates a calm tone of extreme gray, meeting the needs of adults for simple and elegant space. The integrated modern metal wall creates a "shuttle" effect like a time and space tunnel. Through the change of lighting, the indoor scene can also have more different changes. Bright yellow dotted it, creating a lively and interesting space for children. Stairs, children's play area, and bright yellow space in the public area, combined with the outdoor garden, children's hairdressing area, parent-child afternoon tea, coffee bar, and amusement area, make it a complex retail space with a modern artistic sense.
A brand new compound kids and family lifestyle center. PARK by balabala has not only actively innovated in architecture, interior, and landscape design, but also pioneered a new integrated parent-child experience for users, creating a multi-format venue integrating clothing, leisure, and fashion, and promoting children's fashion High-quality development of lifestyle. Space is divided into two layers, connected by green plants like "unbounded" everywhere. The first floor includes a coffee bar, retail space, and a park-like courtyard space. People can freely shuttle, "buy and go", or rest and stay in the outdoor courtyard, where children can play freely. On the second floor, the children’s hairdressing area, parent-child afternoon tea, and children’s entertainment, etc., allow people to enjoy the whole day. The compound space of multi-dimensional scenes stimulates more vitality of the space.
"balabala has always been committed to "letting children all over the world have a beautiful childhood." After 20 years of cultivating the brand, we were also pleasantly surprised to find that we are becoming the creators of a fashion lifestyle for children. This time PARK's attempt is not only Spatial innovation is also a brand new attempt in the business format. We have created immersive consumption scenarios for the parent-child families we care about to meet their all-round life needs." Mentioned by Kevin, General manager of the balabala. Inside the wok gable, there is a 774-square-meter green brick house, and traditional Lingnan historical buildings are integrated with modern life through the green garden, bringing more surprising life experiences to children and their fashionable lifestyles.