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Aurelien Chen | Former miner’s canteen refurbishment

The refurbishment of this industrial heritage is a subtle reinterpretation of China’s “Red Era”.

This building from the 70’s used to be the canteen for coal mine’s workers. It is adjacent to what used to be the coal mine office buildings, which were built in 1912 by German architects, and present the typical features of Western architecture in China from the time, with an intensive use of arch elements.


Designer: Urban and rural planning and design institute of CSCEC / Aurelien Chen

Photographer: Aurelien Chen

The work consisted in the refurbishment of the existing dilapidated building; the facades were slightly transformed in order to create homogeneity with adjacent historical buildings. The interior design is the result of a careful historical study of the “Red Era” colors, materials and furniture, which were subtly reinterpreted. Finally, this refurbishment was meant to adapt the building to new and contemporary usages: literary café, library, museum, exhibition, lectures, events.