Beijing Guang’anmennei Community Cultural Activity Center / MAT Office

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Beijing Guang’anmennei Community Cultural Activity Center / MAT Office

© Kangshuo Tang© Kangshuo Tang© Kangshuo Tang© Kangshuo Tang+ 33


  • Zoned Area of ​​this architecture project Area:
    1800 m²

  • Year Year of realization of this architectural project

    Year:


    2020


  • Photographs
© Kangshuo Tang
© Kangshuo Tang

Site and strategy
The site is located in Huaxing Building, Guangyi Street, Xicheng District in Beijing. In the past, the ground floor was rented out as a ballroom, below it is a small hotel. In the new round of lane regeneration and freeing up urban space, the government took over the space on a lease and invested in upgrading the function. The “Last Ballroom” has been reinvigorated as a center for cultural activities serving the local community.

© Kangshuo Tang
© Kangshuo Tang

Before the regeneration, the ground floor could not communicate with the basement due to the different programs. Additionally, the high-density beam frame hampered the uses of the activity space. Thus, the connectivity, accessibility and spatial improvement under the request of the original structure underline this project.

perspective section
perspective section
Diagram
Diagram

In accordance with the functional requirements of the community organizer and the inhabitants, we concluded twelve “space name maps” to generate a community cultural activity space based on a sharing mode and a low-cost objective. The ground floor had a larger open area; it was therefore oriented as a community cultural space; the basement has been adapted as an entertainment space for the local community due to its flexible unit sizes. We have individually inserted “geometries” and a “continuous ceiling” to adjust the transformation of the upper and lower floors. Additionally, we treated the fire escape on both sides as a single element that built a tonal and visual continuity between the two levels that are also complementary in terms of spatial scale and use.

© Kangshuo Tang
© Kangshuo Tang

Community Culture and Service Space
As a center of culture and service, the ground floor contains a residence committee, a small theater, an exhibition space and a small library. “Inserting geometries” is the main gesture for aerial area, T-shaped volume, cylinder, cuboid as well as some pure geometries are integrated like community theater, community book tower and other programs . The other voids are malleable public spaces that could be oriented towards reading, entertainment or exhibition in terms of requirements and capacities.

© Kangshuo Tang
© Kangshuo Tang

Community theater
The community theater is the program that requires the largest area in this project, which generally requires a large space. However, the current structure system could not satisfy the size and general conditions of a standard theater. Therefore, we were inspired by the layout of the amphitheater, inserting a T-shaped stand into the existing column framework: the three stands are arranged around the central stage which transfers the binary opposition between stage and audience to a flexible relationship with diversification which could satisfy the conditions of performing, presenting, meeting, education and other various scenarios.

© Kangshuo Tang
© Kangshuo Tang
© Kangshuo Tang
© Kangshuo Tang

The cloakroom and additional miscellaneous functions are under the bleachers. In the three high-rise corners of the T-shaped structure towards the circulation space, we took advantage of their height to design the reception, cafe and children’s presentation area. In the composition of these three programs in angles, the calm and oppressive atmosphere of the volume of the theater is transmitted to an enrichment of the space of the ground floor.

© Kangshuo Tang
© Kangshuo Tang

Community Book Tour
Community reading is another major program on the ground floor. As a result of the previous program – ballroom, the original windows have been sealed so that the interior space has no natural lighting and ventilation. During the site survey, we demonstrated the need for importing sunlight and fresh air. The bright reading area is linearly arranged with the windows on the south and east sides which could maximize the sunlight and create a quiet reading atmosphere.

Instead of using the general bar shelves, we placed a full-height cylindrical book tower in the center of light-deprived lighting to provide indoors and outdoors – two different interfaces. The outer tower is shelf and empty; on the interior interface, we combined shelving and seating on the elevation, using light panels to stimulate the skylight to design various reading possibilities.

© Kangshuo Tang
© Kangshuo Tang
© Kangshuo Tang
© Kangshuo Tang

Community support and entertainment
The basement is oriented as a community support and activity space that requires flexible unit sizes. In allusion to the rules of safe evacuation and the continuity of the underground area, we have built a continuous greenway to serially connect the exhibition space, the media room, the community workshop, the rehearsal room, the community lounge and the miners’ activity space, and emphasized its rhythmic horizontal space through disparate units of scale.

© Kangshuo Tang
© Kangshuo Tang
© Kangshuo Tang
© Kangshuo Tang

The underground space has a larger beam frame; the one meter deep beam condensed the useful height to about two meters. To avoid a comfortable floor height, we have tried to keep the original structure space dimensions and only insert the “continuous ceiling” concept at the main equipment and piping area on the green path to create space demands and transformations. To achieve sufficient height, the “continuous ceiling” is inverted into a trapezoidal shape, the top of each trapezoid has light panels to simulate a natural outdoor environment for the inhabitants.

© Kangshuo Tang
© Kangshuo Tang

Community lounge
As an open space with the associated closet on the ground floor among the community facilities in the basement, the community lounge contains daily entertainment, discussions, residence meetings, temporary events and other programs. Thus, we used movable furniture modules to divide the areas according to disparate community activities.

© Kangshuo Tang
© Kangshuo Tang
© Kangshuo Tang
© Kangshuo Tang

The main corridor of the community lounge connects the large and small rehearsal rooms, as well as the community workshop. The rehearsal room is open to locals to subscribe to the programming system, and the community workshop is a separate office for volunteers and community organizations.

© Kangshuo Tang
© Kangshuo Tang

Activity area for minors
Initially, the room next to the emergency exit is in the basement was an inconspicuous area; we oriented it as the children’s activity space. Different from the general family room which requires parents to accompany, we have integrated a reading and drawing cabin for children to enjoy independently. The cabin is painted yellow and also uses the arched entrance to create a cool and playful atmosphere. The exterior of the reading room is a drawable wall with open vision and natural lights. Parents can choose to play with their children or leave the room to themselves, enjoying the possibility of a space in which parents and children can count and be independent of each other.

© Kangshuo Tang
© Kangshuo Tang
© Kangshuo Tang
© Kangshuo Tang

From urban inventory to ideal community
After a year of design and countless encounters with residences, and another year of construction, the Beijing Guang’anmennei Community Cultural Activity Center has finally been completed. Project supported by the State, designed by architects, executed by a few teams, the exploitation process is a paragon of the passage from the urban inventory to the ideal community in modern cities. The completed community cultural activity center and multimedia theatre, rehearsal rooms, library, miners’ area and all the other programs the center contains, provide residents with a space for cultural and entertaining activities, which which also improved residents’ perception and community involvement.

© Kangshuo Tang
© Kangshuo Tang

For a community design, the regeneration of a physical space is a clear ambition. However, daily operations and a series of adaptation processes are what people might encounter after completion. For architects, we should not only focus on daily life and the graphic scene in a community space design, but also on other social goals. Within the framework of multi-stakeholder cooperation, we must design community spaces in an open and systematic way, thereby giving back the right to the space to the inhabitants and achieving the additional ambition of creating a sense of community belonging.

© Kangshuo Tang
© Kangshuo Tang
© Kangshuo Tang
© Kangshuo Tang

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