Submitted by WA Contents

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

China Architecture News - Jul 04, 2022 - 17:21   700 views

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Chinese architecture practice Archstudio has renovated a gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes inside to create different forms of skylights to receive natural light. 

Named Pifo Gallery, the 880-square-metre building is located in 798 Art Zone in Beijing, which was opened in 2009 and it is one of the earliest major art intuitions in China dedicated to advancing the research and development of abstract art. 

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Main entrance

After more than a decade of operation, Archstudio was commissioned by the owner of the gallery to renovate the space and to improve its functions and adapt to future development demands.

798 Art Zone, where the gallery is situated, houses a cluster of modern art spaces repurposed from electronics factories built in the 1950s. 

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Reception area

Distinct from those iconic buildings featuring concrete arched windows in the art zone, Pifo Gallery is set in an ordinary industrial building — a regular closed concrete "box" with high ceilings and poor natural daylighting. 

For renovating the gallery, Archstudio's primary consideration was to satisfy its functional demands while endowing the space with a captivating ambience and a unique visual identity, so as to improve the brand image of the gallery.

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Original building exterior. Image © ARCHSTUDIO

Based on the existing architectural form and structures, Archstudio took "Funnel of Light" as the design concept. 

The design team opened the originally closed "box" to introduce multi-layer natural lights, and meanwhile reorganized circulation routes, structures and materials, thereby creating a natural, open and efficient space that integrates art exhibition, reception and office functions.

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Street-side facade

Two trapezoid-shaped volumes are added to the street-side facade, functioning as a window for opening the "box" outwards. One acts as an entrance foyer that links the building with the outdoor street, and the other serves as a bay window for bringing daylight and street view into the office area.

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Street-side facade

The foyer is constructed of fair-faced concrete. Its facade, made of translucent U-shaped glass, creates a haze and soft light-like effect, which defines the first impression when visitors enter the gallery. 

This new addition is enveloped by red bricks similar to that of the old building, to harmonize with the built environment of the surroundings.

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Foyer

The exhibition space brings in daylight through several trapezoidal light wells. The design team removed some existing precast concrete roofing panels of the old building, and meanwhile added linear skylights.

The skylights are connected with oblique walls, thus forming three trapezoidal light wells of varied sizes, which bring soft natural light to exhibition halls and reception space beneath. 

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Foyer

The first floor includes three separate yet connected exhibition halls. The design team utilized dense concrete rib beams to enhance the height of the interior space to the greatest extent. 

The section of rib beams is in trapezoidal shape. Lighting membrane is inserted in between beams, which adds soft artificial light source to the exhibition space.

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Foyer

The slanting walls shape a trapezoidal reception hall on the second floor. It is set up for receiving VIP art collectors, equipped with kitchen, bathroom, leisure and meeting facilities. Daylight penetrates the skylights, and spreads down onto the oblique walls, forming a unique ritualistic reception space. 

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Reception area

The fixed furniture at front desk area, reception area and office area are constructed of fair-faced concrete. Sintered stones are used as tabletops. The design created a clear dialogue between furniture and space.

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Reception area

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Reception area

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Reception area

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Main exhibition hall

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Main exhibition hall

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Main exhibition hall

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Main exhibition hall

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Lighting membrane is inserted in between beams

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Lighting membrane is inserted in between beams

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

The door of the exhibition hall is retained from the former old factory

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Reception hall

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Reception hall

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Reception hall

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Small reception room

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Exhibition hall details

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Reception hall

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Office area

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Site plan

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Floor plans

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Floor plans

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Section

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Section

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Roof plan

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Diagram

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

South elevation

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

West elevation

Archstudio renovates art gallery in Beijing with two trapezoidal volumes to create skylights

Models

Archstudio previously converted an old art gallery into a natural, open and intimate art center in China and the practice also transformed Beijing's old building into a multi-brand boutique with mirrored interior in Dongcheng District of Beijing.

Project facts

Project name: Pico Gallery

Location: 798 Art Zone, Beijing

Design firm: Archstudio 

Chief designer: Han Wenqiang, Li Xiaoming

Designer: Wang Tonghui 

Structural consulting: Zhu Changan 

MEP consulting: Zheng Baowei, Li Dongjie, Li Zhongjuan

Image editing: Wang Tonghui

Construction: Guo Shunxi, etc.

Project area: 880 square meters

Design phase: October 2020 - January 2021

Construction phase: January 2021- February 2022

Main materials: concrete, micro cement, U-shaped glass

All images © Jin Weiqi unless otherwise stated. 

All drawings © Archstudio.

> via Archstudio

Archstudio art gallery art institution Beijing