Office Project transforms Beijing factory into artist's home and studio
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Hall within cloud-Art studio of Xu Hongquan

Office Project transforms Beijing factory into skylit artist's home and studio

A former factory in Beijing has been overhauled to create a studio and home for a calligraphy artist, featuring bright white galleries and a sloping roof with stepped windows.

Hall within cloud-Art studio of Xu Hongquan

Office Project transformed the former industrial building in Beijing's Huairou District for artist Xu Hongquan, who practices both eastern and western art techniques, as well as writing and teaching.

Hall within cloud-Art studio of Xu Hongquan

The architects wanted to create a blank canvas for the artist to display his work inside the six-metre high structure.

Inside the building named Hall within Cloud, the walls, ceiling and existing truss roof structure are all painted white to create bright galleries. The building's outer brick walls have also been rendered and painted white.

Hall within cloud-Art studio of Xu Hongquan

A new steel roof lifts on one side to create a two-storey block for the artist's home, while the galleries and a tearoom occupy the other side of the building.

Hall within cloud-Art studio of Xu Hongquan

Stepped windows slot into the rising gap between the existing wall and the new roof, bringing plenty of light into the open gallery space. When it rains, the architects hope that the slope of the roof will cause water to sprinkle into the yard in front.

Hall within cloud-Art studio of Xu Hongquan

"At first we were going to make the top a purely hyperboloid [form], but as the limitation of manufacturers craft level and cost, we chose the segmented folding roof form finally," they said.

"We imagine that in the rain raindrops will fall on the slow and steep roof, and then gently sprinkle on the yard."

Hall within cloud-Art studio of Xu Hongquan

As the roof flattens, the windows progress into a thick band to offer the artist views to the outside from his master bedroom and study.

"Due to the site being surrounded by forest, Mr Xu hopes to move the bedroom and study to second floor, so that the beautiful scenario outside the window can be caught," said the architects.

Hall within cloud-Art studio of Xu Hongquan

Rather than corridors, visitors move from one gallery to another to enable views between different areas. A small opening in the new upper floor offers the artist views from his bedroom into the galleries.

A number of factories in Beijing are now being adapted for domestic use. Other examples include a former missile factory that Neri&Hu converted into a cafe and car repair garage, while Origin Architect turned an abandoned printing factory into a theatre complex.

Photography is by Sun Haiting.


Project credits:

Design company: Office Project
Chief designers: Chang Ke, Li Wenhan
Design team: Zhang Hao, Zhao Jianwei, Xie Dongfang and Cui Lan

More images and plans

Hall within cloud-Art studio of Xu Hongquan
Ground floor plan
Hall within cloud-Art studio of Xu Hongquan
First floor plan
Hall within cloud-Art studio of Xu Hongquan
Section
Hall within cloud-Art studio of Xu Hongquan
Hall within cloud-Art studio of Xu Hongquan
Hall within cloud-Art studio of Xu Hongquan
Hall within cloud-Art studio of Xu Hongquan
Hall within cloud-Art studio of Xu Hongquan
Hall within cloud-Art studio of Xu Hongquan
Hall within cloud-Art studio of Xu Hongquan
Hall within cloud-Art studio of Xu Hongquan
Hall within cloud-Art studio of Xu Hongquan
Hall within cloud-Art studio of Xu Hongquan
Hall within cloud-Art studio of Xu Hongquan
Hall within cloud-Art studio of Xu Hongquan