TZ Office by AE Architects

RECENT ARCHITECTURE

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image ©Chiara Ye

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Beijing, China

Located in the new district of Tongzhou in Beijing, this project is the first step of a large industrial conversion into office and business park. The old factories, the property of the Beijing Printing Company in the past now empty, occupy an area of 40,000 sqm. The new master plan includes not only office spaces but also restaurants, cafes, auditorium, outdoor events space among other services. In order to attract new companies, start-up, and young users, this model office creates a playful working environment in which, interaction, gather, exchange, entertain and fun are part of the daily working activities. We didn’t want to interfere or destroy the original envelope, so the new structure with its double height loft space is detached from the previous one by a 500 mm gap. Slim steel columns and light walls allow the new functions take place. As our design language, we use the folding logic to transform the new surfaces into walls, floor, and ceiling. The main material selected is the wood panel which brings to the atmosphere a warm feeling and also works well as a sound and thermic isolation. The result is a modern continuous skin high contrasted from the original concrete industrial building. The new surface horizontally acts as a deck, vertically as partition walls and diagonally as a stair and auditorium. This movement is supported by steel shelve set between the original columns. Behind the shelve, we use the 800mm gap to install a slide giving an option to go from 2F to 1F in a playful way. Under the stairs, we fit the meeting room for 10 people. In order to reduce the effect of gravity, 8 steel columns are carefully hidden between the walls and a container-look box which hold the service functions. Besides 3 diagonal steel beams were added to support the stairs and reduce the impact of the structure. The overall result is a completely modern facility, a place where work is fun and interaction between people smooth. Water and natural elements allow us to forget the surroundings, like an oasis in the middle of the city.