A+Awards: Architizer A+Award-winning studio Crossboundaries has created a canyon through the middle of this production facility for a Chinese lingerie brand, which employees can enjoy on their breaks.
Aimer, which specialises in underwear and negligees, first approached the firm to design a 14,000-square-metre factory in 2004.
However, the company grew rapidly into a fully fledged brand, so the brief was altered to encompass a 23,000-square-metre distribution centre, a research and development office, and spaces to showcase its products.
The architects decided to accommodate all of these areas within a single building, spanning a plot in the Chinese capital's Shunyi District.
"To optimise the site, Crossboundaries gathered all business functions under one roof, resulting in a rectangular stand-alone building that presents strength and authority to the public," said the studio, which has offices in Beijing and Frankfurt.
The exterior is clad in a patchwork of anodised aluminium and concrete panels, broken up with slices of glazing.
"The visual effect of the facade therefore reflects the nature of lingerie: coverage and transparency," Crossboundaries said.
At the centre of the complex is a chasm that acts as an outdoor area for employees and the public. This space – split across two levels and surrounded by curving walls – is also designed to allow more air to flow through the complex.
"While it is important to the client to present a strong image, Crossboundaries envisioned a factory environment that breaks away from the imprisoning working environment and attends to the wellbeing of workers and administration employees equally," said the studio.
Inside, a vast atrium lobby features a collection of slender white columns arranged at seemingly haphazard angles.
Eventually completed in 2014, Aimer Lingerie Factory was lauded in the Factory Warehouse category of the 2016 A+Awards – along with projects including a winery that emerges from a hillside in north Spain.
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