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.
Renovation of No.8 Building in Beijing Banbidian Industry Park in China by C+ Architects
November 21st, 2017 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: C+ Architects
In the Depth of Banbidian No.1 Cultural Industry Park, Beijing, a U-shaped glass facade 2-story building, which is a plant renovation project recently finished by C+ Architects.
The client is an Internet company, in addition to the basic needs of accommodating 30-50 staff working together, they want the architects to create a new traffic order and sufficient space for people resting and discussing freely in the original open space architecture.
Since the L-shaped old stairway nearby the main entrance cannot meet the client’s demands of the reception area, the primary task of the architects is to redefine the indoor vertical traffic. As a result, the key element of the overall program’s concept, namely by setting a focal point “a straight-run stairs” redrawing space and functionality of the whole building.
The new stairs placed at the internal visual center is sandwiched between two sheets of U-glass walls, above which there is a skylight of about 6.2m in length and 1.1m in width. During the daytime, while sunlight spilling down, a warm and bright “Glowing Staircase” has been achieved in the office space through the reflection of translucent glasses.
The skylight spanning three roof trusses eventually became a supporting structure by welding strut channels in new gypsum board partitions with steel angles inside the original trusses, this structural design also provides a certain protection to the deformed roof.
The “Glowing Staircase” is surrounded by a looping traffic flow; furthermore both private and public functional divisions are set aside based on usage requirements.
The arrangement on west side of the first floor, such as general manager office, conference room and a set of living areas, is relatively independent; while east side is open for people co-working, meeting and entertaining. On south side of the upper floor there are several separated administration offices and other part is open working zone. Besides, the extended space on the eastern side of construction can be used flexibly for rest or group discussion.
As a “transportation hub”, the stairs ultimately organized different divisions in an efficient manner.
Positive/Negative Space” Window
For the purpose of improving lighting and ventilation, except newly opened window holes and enlarged ones on the brick wall of second floor, a new multi-purpose window featuring the thickness of the external wall of the building is devised by the architects.
After reconstruction, each window of the building is divided into two parts including positive and negative space: the glass of positive indoor part, installed on the outer side of window frame, where the sill is applicable to compartment space; on the other hand, the glass of negative outdoor space on the inner side make window easier to be opened and reduce the possibility of rainwater entering.
On the façade, the delicate window frame made of black steel sheet stands in a contrast to the rough whitewashed brick wall.
Accompanied by Courtyard
In the near future, a triangular courtyard will be planned on the north side of the architecture for the use of company. Therefore, the architects transformed a window on the north side into doorway that gives access from the office area directly to the yard.
At the same time, on the first floor, living spaces such as bathroom, kitchen and lounge are added into the affiliated building. When the weather is good, staff can simply process foods and prepare drinks in the kitchen, then take out in courtyard to eat or even hold small parties.
The design is supposed to use a great number of timber battens for interior decoration. The original idea was to recycle old wood, by cutting broken part to give its second life. However due to the schedule reasons of construction, the client finally chose brand-new battens.
In addition, for long-term cost considerations, the green wall located at reception area is not realized at last, the property management prohibited the additional rainbow skylight at the atrium of entrance.
Above, these are some regrets in this renovation project.
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