Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Praxis d’ Studio Renovation in Beijing, China by PRAXiS d’ARCHITECTURE
September 29th, 2016 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: PRAXiS d’ARCHITECTURE
A space for thinking, a living room, a party place….with a wall of light…
The given condition of the space was a two-story light steel frame structure glass box that is an annex to a brick storage building. It measures 35m from north to south and 5m from east to west. The west side is attached to the exterior brick wall of the storage and the east side faces a parking lot.
To be used as workplace, spatially, we felt the brightness and the car park during day time were too omnipresent to feel relaxed, the floor height was too low to feel breathable, and the proportion of the space was too linear to feel positioned. Apart from these, the light steel structure with a roof of sandwiched color steel plate combined with a full glass facade made the space practically a green house. Since we only got a maximum 4 year lease, the renovation had to be simple and economical.
The intention of the design was to create a space for thinking. For many of us, the higher the space, the further our thinking goes. Our minds work the best when the space provides physical comfort, feels relaxed, breathable and positioned.
Therefore, a portion of floor slab was taken out to create a double high space between the entry way and the work sector. A curved wall was made inside the double high space, and it was made of steel frame and sun panels with LED lights embedded, providing some darkness during daytime for projection. At night time it becomes a wall of light, surrounding into a space of intimacy. The glass facing the parking lot was applied with a layer of sun panel from inside that is used for the wall of light, so that it blurs the view of the parking lot to gives the studio some privacy, provides diffused light, and acts as thermal insulate.
To spend least money possible yet to achieve multiple purpose, the quality of the sun panel is crucial. The chosen one was a result of a thorough search not only in the shops but also in factory storage. Among tons of different samples we finally found one in a warehouse rarely seen in the market that has the needed transparency, thickness, and most importantly, with a reasonable price.
The fixed and movable furniture are mostly designed by ourselves. The book shelf against the stair is made of rectangular wood frames that allow flexible assembly to adapt to different wall shapes and accommodate books of different sizes. The front desk has a curved surface that was made from layers of extruded foam board, and from this 3D surface we generated benches and a floor lamp out of PVC tube. Lighting, furniture and decoration includes “Pipe Sospensione” designed by Herzog & De Meuron, Sofa by Halo, paintings by Gang Zhao.
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