In 2017, we found a creative industry park that was transformed from a decades-old factory. After rounds of discussions with all the teammates, we made up our minds to set up the new studio there. The original space and the site boast the following features:
1. Excellent storey height. After roof restoration, more daylights are able to be in.
2. The structure and partial exterior wall of old buildings. The reservation of old textures brings back the fading memory of those old days.
3. An integrated business complex. The 24-hour creative industry park includes not only commercial operations, but also office area.
Based on these conditions, we set about carrying out the design. But the project was not officially launched before we “shaking off” the identity of designers and saw ourselves as clients.
Step One – Identifying the objectives and functional requirements for the project
1. Work comes first
2. Efficient cooperation
3. Clients reception
4. Be time-saving
5. A personal request
Step Two – Spatial planning based on functional requirements for the project
1. Zone A – “Engine Area”
Working section is most frequently utilized, so we arranged the best area in southern/northern part of this space to be the working area and schematized it with smooth circulations.
2. Zone B – “Elbow Area”
It is a brand new concept we came up with, referring to the cooperation area where we can interact with business partners. Besides, it was arranged in the middle sector with independent entry and exit.
3. Zone C – “Image Area”
Since this area represents the company image and delivers its spirit to clients, it was planned in a key area of the overall space.
4. Zone D – “Experiment Area”
In order to maximize the efficiency of social time, a commercial area for relaxation and social intercourse was set up as an experiment field.
5. Zone E – “Self Area”
In this area, I shall immerse the whole of me in tranquility and solitude. Without any interruption, designing should be the only company for me.
Step Three – Implementing the spatial planning scheme in proper ways
1. We chose the area which enjoyed the most sunlight in the attic to be Zone A. This section is spacious and fit for all the major team members to work at. The original brick walls were left untouched and only a shutter grille was added to the ceiling. The sunlight-oriented spatial design in this area makes the shutter capable of adjusting indoor light. In this section, we also hung a tree which was divided into two parts. Lighting was set behind the tree so that the light reflected on the ceiling gets softer and provides illumination for the whole section. Besides, this suspended tree embodies designers’ contradiction between sense and sensibility.
2. To realize the intended function of Zone B, we took advantage of the five-meter floor height to build a loft. All of our cooperators can enter the second floor to communicate with designers through the separate doorway. For the convenience of negotiation, we also arranged small conference rooms and material sample areas. We dug a patio leading up to the third floor and laid a mirror at the bottom of it. To help distinguish reality and virtuality, a sphere installation was put inside the patio to generate mirroring and vividness. On the ceiling of the conference room, we placed a transparent fish pool. In this way, when daylight is cast on the pool, a beam of variegated light will appear in the conference room, making the low space more lively.
3. A staircase with panoramic mirror connects the second floor and the first floor. The reflection of mirror together with the stair itself forms a V shape. Above the stair hangs a tyrannosaurus together with a flock of birds, creating a dreamy scenario. Since the staircase mainly serves as a channel, the decoration won’t disturb quietness or affect office efficiency. In other words, Zone C embodies the temperament of the company.
4. We built a bar on the first floor equipped with two removable tables. For soft furnishing, we bought an old machine, a possible device used in industrial design in the past, from the previous owner of the factory, Carl Zeiss AG. Our colleagues also brought their favorable personal belongings to the bar to make the place closer to us. Inside the small compartment, there is a round mirror on a cracked wall.
5. I intentionally made my own office small so that I could do nothing but my design work there, thus promoting productivity. The front of the desk is a round table 1,100mm across, which allows a quick discussion of proposals among four people. At the backside of my office, there is a separate stairway leading to tearoom downstairs. This newly-formed loft within the thirty-square-meter space satisfies my demand for personal creativeness and reception. Kind of a treat for myself.
6. A space lack of art is full of coldness. At the end of the decoration, we found many appropriate artworks to adorn the place. Those artworks are like intimate friends, igniting every corner.
- Location: Beijng, China
- Interior Design: CUN Design
- Designer: Cui Shu, Wang Jizhou
- Installation & Display: Cui Shu, Miao Debao, Kong Weiqing
- Main materials: lighting fixtures (SERIP), ceramic tiles (XIN ZHONG YUAN), doors & windows (V-good), floorboards (DE RUI BAO)
- Construction Company: Beijing Pingyizuo Deisgn consultation Co., Ltd.
- Client: CUN Design
- Area: 700 m2
- Year: 2018
- Photographs: Su Tang, Wang Ting, Wang Jin, Courtesy of CUN Design
Article by Marco Rinaldi