IOMA Beijing’s Art Center by Archstudio ⇒ For a recent project Archstudio has transformed an existing building at 798 art zone, Beijing, to create the IOMA Art Centre. Based on the concept of ‘symbiosis’, the design aims to realize harmonious coexistence between the old and new, inside and outside, and architecture and nature.
When approaching the project, Archstudio utilized the original architectural space and added extensions to the top floor and along the street, with a view to satisfying the future demands of the building. The design team firstly deconstructed and integrated functions into the overall space, and created some new communal areas such as a restaurant, art store, multi-functional hall and leisure area, so as to enable a smooth transition from nature to public spaces and to exhibition areas.
The designers also reorganized the circulation routes throughout the entire space. The visiting route of the former exhibition space was conventional and monotonous, and visitors had to go back along the circulation route after seeing the exhibitions, which resulted in boring spatial experiences.
The design team created several recessed arc-shaped courtyards and completely retained the trees that already existed on the site. The courtyards and green trees together shaped a distinct spatial character for the building. As visitors wandering in the space, their interaction with trees varies. they encounter different parts of trees, from roots to the treetops, and sometimes need to bow their heads to walk under branches.
The perfect combination of nature and space gives the place great charm. The façade is clad in a translucent curtain of metal, making the trees appear to grow out of it, blending into the environment and as well as the building. Through the above-mentioned strategies, an originally conventional art gallery which resembled an enclosed box has been perfectly transformed into a natural, open, intimate and interaction-evoking multi-functional art centre.