The project is located right in the center of an urban enclave of declining industrial plants. Although the site is only 15 minutes’ drive east to Beijing’s CBD, but because it’s intersected by serval railways and difficult to access, it has remained forgotten and uncultivated in the past 3 decades.
The client aims to regenerate this area though bringing in creative industries to re-connect the surrounding neighborhoods, and gradually building up a mixed-use community to revitalize this urban zone.
As a core-engine of this creative zone, it needs a solution that imbued by the site’s past and future regenerating tendencies, not only physical, but also cultural, economic and political.
We proposed a strategy of “spatial prototype shift” to transform this industrial space to an art center targeting public engagement. It appropriates the prototype of the saw-tooth shaped plant buildings and adapts it for multiple program: exhibitions, cultural events, performing arts and festivities.The exterior presence is characterized by a semi-reflective aluminum-cladded volume echoing to the ever-changing skylight.
It gradually extends forward, twists at the end as it almost touches the elevated railway. The volume seems to levitate on a mass of red bricks, reflecting the historic character of the site. The solidity of the brick wall is also altered to allow optional permeability, embracing the surrounding terrain and creating a dynamic interaction with the adjacent public plaza and the pedestrian passage under the elevated railway.
Our design strategy and its deliberate materialization makes HeyTown Art Center standout in its setting.
The building will become a “social condenser”, where mass culture is produced and transmitted. While gathering people from all over the city and invigorate the community, it brings up an answer for how to make an effective cultural land(scape) mark, at where the collision of old and new culture happens..