Tao’s architecture office is located inside a former aeronautical factory in Beijing. The warehouse is a typical example of a converted building in Beijing cut into many narrow and deep pieces and leased as office space to tenants who can redesign the space as they like. The existing warehouse is a three bay concrete structure in depth, with a 4 meter high space in the first two bays and 7.8 meter high space in the last bay. The key issue for the designers was to preserve the full height of the space while making more efficient use out of it. The work space is an inserted mezzanine floor within the first two bays (4m high space), creating a work area on top and storage space underneath. The contrast between the very low space on top of the mezzanine and the very high space of the main area generates a spatial tension that adds to the dynamic feeling of the space. In addition, a niche underneath the cantilevered floor functions as a display for models.
The original opaque facade was changed into full height glazing to expose an inserted white volume (the lounge room) projecting out from the facade and placed on display. A strong contrast was created between the chosen new materials (frost glass, white gypsum board, vinyl floor) to present an abstraction of pure volumes in the space and the exposing of the heavily textured existing structure (concrete, steel, wood) by removing the paint to reveal the tectonic connections and multiple traces of transformation.
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