The project is located in Chaoyang District, Beijing. It is comprised of a youth apartment complex and shared working space, with a total floor area of 12,000sqm. The building was meant to accommodate a leisure club for an office park but was never used. On site there was an underground hot spring swimming pool sitting at the centre of the building, as well as an attractive 16 meters-high atrium bringing light in. The project aims to transform the upper building into a youth apartment, and the underground part in a shared working space.
The transformation of the hot spring pool becomes the key design intervention to create public space. After redefining its boundary, we used an artistic mosaic as main material applied to the bed of the original swimming pool, so as to echo its original function. Wood is used for the pool’s perimeters to create a series of public facilities such as benches, stairs, tree pots, bookshelves etc. The artistic and functional manipulation of the swimming pool activates sharing of the public space with cafes, book reading, social activities and mini-lectures programs, bringing interactivity and energy to the complex.
The same design language is applied to the external facade as well as the atrium’s interface above the swimming pool - the translucent white perforated panels and the superposition of the floor windows create a continuous rhythm and dynamism without losing the integrity of the atrium space. The facade design also conforms to the original overhangs structure, to create outdoor balconies in-between the inner apartments and the outer atrium, with white hexagonal perforated panels screening the view and the noise from the interior rooms. Our aim was to improve the quality of living and the leisure space by creating an outdoor, natural, sunny and green environment.
For the upper apartment, due to the constraints of the existing column structure, there are different lengths and depths in each area, which made complex the design of a standard floor plan distribution. So, we introduced a modular approach to deal with the different spaces such as bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, living room and extended living space. The are 5 categories with 233 rooms in total, the smallest basic module featuring bathroom and bedroom, the largest with more spacious living area.
The Boonself Youth Apartment focuses on the improvement of habitation and the creation of community culture, it is also trying to bring a new life style of sociality and comfort within the peripheral areas of Beijing’s east 5th ring road.