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123 architects converts industrial building into photography studio featuring arched addition

China Architecture News - Mar 17, 2020 - 16:10   14815 views

123 architects converts industrial building into photography studio featuring arched addition

Chinese architecture studio 123 architects has converted a former industrial building into a photography studio by creating an arched structural addition carrying the balcony on the second level.

Called Masquerade Photography Studio, the building is located in Qikeshu in northeast Beijing, China within close proximity to the city’s thriving 798 Art Zone which is home to several movie and photography studios that are housed within old brick factories. 

123 architects converts industrial building into photography studio featuring arched addition

The 480-square-metre building is now a new attraction point with its fluid and dynamic geometry attached to the façade which welcomes clients under these arches.

The building is a two-storey studio and its interiors have been designed as light and colourful as possible. "Rather than merely serving as a typical atelier for the client, the upper level has been designed to host a social meeting space for VIPs, expanding the studio’s function and activities," said 123 architects. 

123 architects converts industrial building into photography studio featuring arched addition

The architects wanted to create a surrealistic space by providing a sensual journey from one room to another. The design maintains the existing characteristics of the factory’s aesthetic while incorporating materials, architectural details and design elements that contrast the original spatial qualities of the building. 

Collectively, the futuristic aesthetic of the new design, compliments the old industrial atmosphere, rendering a surrealistic atmosphere.

123 architects converts industrial building into photography studio featuring arched addition

The overall scheme of the transformation has been envisioned to appear as an art gallery, that while stimulating visitors’ senses, invites them to interact with one another, offering a unique experience that encourages exploration.

For its façade, the architects were inspired by the existing structural framework and they remodeled façade incorporating the materiality of brick which speaks to the building’s former life as a factory. 

123 architects converts industrial building into photography studio featuring arched addition

The organic surface curves away from the original façade front, forming space for a balcony that extends from the second floor, with its arched elements creating a dialogue with the domed windows. 

The façade has been finished with silver paint, allowing the characteristics of the brick to be visible. In this way, the polished exterior already creates visual interest at street front, offering individuals visual cues of what they can expect on the interior.

123 architects converts industrial building into photography studio featuring arched addition

Upon entering, customers are welcomed by the curved walls of the entrance lobby that are vaulted, forming a domed space whose curved framework contrasts the existing industrial ceiling which is exposed above. 

123 architects converts industrial building into photography studio featuring arched addition

Their fluted surfaces reference the architectural details of classical columns. A bespoke star-shaped pendant light hangs from the centre of the lobby, anchoring the space. It provides a soft light that gently illuminates the interior, welcoming visitors into its warm, bright interior.

123 architects converts industrial building into photography studio featuring arched addition

The reception area is a white room that complements the orange entrance lobby. It features a more restrained design composed of right angles and functions as a lounge.

123 architects converts industrial building into photography studio featuring arched addition

The architects designed the photo studio as much more conventional design – a white double-height space that visually and spatially connects with the balcony of the workspace on the second floor through arched cut-outs. 

Curtains are used to divide the room offering functional flexibility that allows it to be used in tandem with the entrance lobby if required.

123 architects converts industrial building into photography studio featuring arched addition

The dining area has been conceived to evoke the feeling of an exhibition space. Lighting and mirrors are housed within classic picture frames. They are arranged along the walls, similar to an art gallery. 

123 architects converts industrial building into photography studio featuring arched addition

A makeup room with a shower is located next door featuring classical details.

123 architects converts industrial building into photography studio featuring arched addition

On the second floor, there is a VIP space with the primary program being that of a circular-shaped lounge. The walls are covered in a luxurious fabric that has been cut into bold graphic shapes. 

123 architects converts industrial building into photography studio featuring arched addition

Custom sofas that span the length of the room offer ample amounts of seating, while the eye is drawn upwards to an installation of convex traffic mirrors on the ceiling that form the focal point of the room.

123 architects converts industrial building into photography studio featuring arched addition

The second-floor VIP makeup room features lighting that dots the walls, like a constellation of stars. A built-in dressing table displays a scalloped edge that is reminiscent of a cloud formation, with the lighting fixture resembling a floating star, overall expressing an ‘intergalactic minimalism’.

Next to the makeup room is a long, narrow, over-sized bathroom. The color and reflective qualities of silver serve as the inspiration for the room, with an installation of mirror balls above adding another dimension to the space.

123 architects converts industrial building into photography studio featuring arched addition

123 architects converts industrial building into photography studio featuring arched addition

First floor plan

123 architects converts industrial building into photography studio featuring arched addition

Second floor plan

123 architects converts industrial building into photography studio featuring arched addition

Diagram

123 architects converts industrial building into photography studio featuring arched addition

Diagram of space concept

Project facts

Project name: Masquerade Photography Studio

Architects: 123 architects 

Size: 480m2 

Location: Beijing, China 

Date: 2019 

All images © Weiqi Jin

All drawings © 123 architects

> via 123 architects