BEIJING – Working together, Chinese architect Nie Yong and Japanese Yoshimasa Tsutsumi recently completed the rehabilitation of a 5000-sq-m disused factory building in Beijing’s southern suburban Daxing District. Local architecture practices were commissioned by a furniture manufacturer to revamp this former warehouse so as to accommodate the company’s new headquarters.
Allowing maximum flexibility to its tenants, the four-level flexible office space holds most of the usual workplace amenities, such as individual offices, conference rooms, rest areas and welcoming exhibition spaces. Making a bold statement upon entering the office, a monolithic spiral staircase sweeps elegantly from the third to the fourth floor and connects spaces of different uses.
Relying on an office landscape approach to space planning, Yong and Tsutsumi’s design clearly intends to provide a collaborative and stimulating work environment. The architects laid out the programme freely, using the existing structure as a way to define and sequence areas, differing from each other by their required level of privacy.
As the space varies in height, the skip-floor system allows for an efficient programmatic distribution across mezzanine-like volumes and confers dynamism as well as three-dimensionality to the proposed design.
For the Daxing Factory conversion, white was, of course, the starring colour. The interior reveals respectfully and with great subtlety the former warehouse’s essential qualities. The overall composition is sober and features modest but truthful materials. The mortar flooring and the framing weathering steel panels at the entrance denotes simplicity and clarity while recalling to the building’s rich industrial past.