There are difficult voyages and the same stars everywhere.
But this garden is outside my window.
——The Garden written by Carver
Designed by QUCESS DESIGN
Photographed by Zheng Yan
Located in the core area of Zhongguancun, the Xueqing Road Station is within a two-kilometer's way to Tsinghua University and Peking University. As a gathering place for Internet companies, most of the old factories remaining from the industrial era have been demolished and renewed. While Beijing Research Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Technology (BRIMET) is one of the few survivors.
It is a challenge to meet the needs of the emerging Internet and science-and-technology enterprises. They require a maximized working area with good ventilation, a lighting environment, and a high-quality, active space atmosphere.
Although the client’s concern was mainly interior renovation, the design team focused on the surroundings outside the project. Combining the entrance location, a circle was used to divide the entire factory building into four parts, blending it into the surrounding environment.
Under the disadvantages of the limited budget, extensive structure, and high-tech requirements, it was a crucial question that how to use the existing conditions to maximize the office area and to ensure that the building maintained a good ventilation and lighting environment as well as high quality, active space atmosphere.
Outside of the project, it refers to the surrounding environment of the factory, as well as the roof and the structural space below the original ground. Combined with the location of the building entrance, the entire factory building was divided into four parts with a circular shape, making it integrated into the surrounding environment. On the premise of safety, the space height and roof were utilized to the best.
"We hope that every office area is surrounded by a garden so that the staff can enjoy a moment of relaxation when they look out the window after work. Of course, they can also walk into the garden and enjoy the sun and nature."
Looking up at the sky
Once entering the space, a large area of the skylight had been expanded and transformed to guide the direction by the light brought in. The skylight extended to connect with the atrium so that the atrium garden was saturated in natural light.
At nightfall, when the lights were still warm, the skylight reflected the blue starry sky. Part of the skylight of the old building was retained in the second half of the atrium so that the space users could feel the unique traces of the original factory building.
To balance the long east-west scale of the project, two spiral staircases of different shapes were designed in the atrium to disperse and organize the flow of people, playing a role in activating the space atmosphere.
At the end of the atrium, the light illuminated the glass bricks wrapping the freight elevator from the inside, making people linger there.
Near the spiral staircase, two sets of open sightseeing elevators echoed the stairs, and the structural steel frame was painted with bright colors to form the visual focus of the atrium, forming the core of the traffic. The artistic spiral staircase contrasted against the industrialized sightseeing elevator, making the whole space full of vitality, adding a sense of fun to the journey of upstairs and downstairs.
In the afternoon sun, when the old and new parts met, it exuded fascinating light and shadow.
Starry Sky Garden
To meet the parking demand to the greatest extent, the original ground was dug to the foundation of the pillars which served as a semi-underground garage. The sunken atrium garden extended to the garage, bringing a different parking experience.
To maximize the utilization rate, the roof supported almost all the electron-mechanical equipment of the entire building. Therefore, the designer had designed two roof gardens with different styles and functions for leisure and gathering on the inclined roof of the original building.
The garden center was designed with solar self-luminous seats and art installations in the form of leaves and feathers. When strolling at night, the thoughts of the Internet worker wandered at any time.
The design intended to create a garden and a starry sky for the space users as well as the surrounding buildings and users.
"In the reconstruction of the old factory building, ensuring the safety of the building and structure is always the core of the project.
While how to make the most of the existing building and structural conditions is the key to low-cost construction of the project. "
Thanks to China Academy of Building Research Co., Ltd. for providing a lot of key support and assistance in this project. For QUCESS DESIGN, it was a very challenging renovation project in all aspects. Fortunately, with the full support of the owner and the full cooperation of the construction firm, the project finally came into being.