Red Diamond by Chiasmus Partners


Architects Chiasmus Partners have converted a former factory into a dance centre and theatre in the Dongcheng district of Bejing, China.

The project, named Red Diamond, involved covering the exterior of the existing building with a faceted shell made of evenly-spaced steel tubing.

Elements of the original building such as the front door remain in place.

The area in front of the main building is to be used as an open-air performance space.

A separate white, box-like structure accommodates a bar and seating overlooking this courtyard.

Spaces in the main building include a performance hall and practice studio.

Here's some information from the architects:


Red Diamond

Located in the historic DongCheng district of Beijing, the project calls for a conversion of old factory complex into a dance center with a performance hall, a practice hall and a saloon.

With the intention to emphasize the public character of the new dance center, the concept was to make the courtyard an outdoor “theater” – a public space that would revitalize the complex, the hutong and its neighborhood.

By wrapping the old factory building with evenly-spaced-out steel tubing, the facade of the performance hall was perceived as a theater stage.

Above: the original building

The old white door in the middle was kept and untouched, telling the history of the building’s transformation.

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The white floating box opposite to the performance hall is a saloon which was perceived as box seats overlooking the stage on the other side.

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At the same time, people in saloon are also being seen upon entering the complex.

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There is a blurred boundary between stage and seats.  The relationship between seeing and being seen are constantly reversed.

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Architect: Chiasmus Partners
Principal Architect: James Wei Ke, Hyunho Lee
Project Team: Oscar Ko, Gu Yun Duan, Feng Bo
Client: Beijing Modern Dance Company
Location: Beijing, China
Program: Performance Hall, Practice Hall, Saloon
Project years: 2008-2009
Photographer: Chiasmus, Jenny Hung

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Posted on Monday October 26th 2009 at 12:56 pm by Jasmin Gunkar. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • tengyun

    it is chinese

  • Luiz

    awesome and very beautiful!

  • Gunnar Á.

    Ok, nice but they should have keept the front more original.

  • hj

    tengyun, it’s IN China, but the architects are Korean.

  • aeolus

    Guess they didn’t have a historical commission to give them any grief. Great reuse of grungy structure.

  • rodger


  • Lucas

    I prefer the original building. Don’t like this vibe of covering the old instead of renovating it to enhance the original qualities of it.

  • gab xiao

    it looks beautiful and has an obvious – yet not vulgar – chinese feel that i like

  • dw

    nice color! i’d love to see details of steel tubing.

  • observer

    Do people in other countries use the term “far west architecture”???
    The result its nice, but can’t shake the feeling that this is kinda cheating…

  • ss_sk

    No matter what the result is the ‘before’ and ‘after’ helps a lot ;)

  • Choison

    I love this design!

  • rnnr

    Note to self: clean out old shutters and boxes behind only interesting part of project / screen wall facade before photography and blogging.

  • They must have designed the facade by accident while playing with SketchUp. ^_^

  • Yvonne

    The building is so red that you wouldn’t notice the sky is so grey…

    There is a bit blue in the original building photo…

  • I agree with LOGORITHM about its form and the Chinese Red makes it so Chinese. Great transformation.

  • quinn

    ooooh so tasty. Love it on a visceral level

  • 中国


  • ste

    well its not a red diamond at all… its is a classic house with a typical section for a classic house with one slightly triangulated red facade..?

  • Hutong

    I live nearby,

    logorithm got it right – a typical sketchup-based design (also I agree with the accidental look). Constructed out of steel tubes (poorly welded) they usually use in Beijing to hide airconditions.
    Amazing in how many website this project got published – for a design and construction which almost could have been done in an afternoon session.
    But well – the original facade is still well-preserved behind it – no problem to bring back the real beauty behind – after a few years of hype.