The 315 square meter penthouse occupies the last three floors of a building in high-end residential compound in Beijing.The original apartment layout was quite irrational. All bedrooms were small and all facing north, the interior was dark, especially in the winter. Bathrooms were in the middle of the house occupying, at the first floor, the best spot next to the living area. A steep spiral stairs was right in front the entrance in a narrow entrance hall.



Clients wanted a more effective space layout suiting their modern and in-China-not-so-conventional style of life. They were willing to accept an open dining area well connected to the kitchen and having a place to enjoy a good dining environment with friends not conventionally separated by sofa area. They also preferred to have the master bedroom facing south, allowing the room to have plenty of sunshine.




We had two main goals in this refurbishment. The first was to build a whole open space characterizing the two main floors while guaranteeing to them very different stylistic features. The second was to use a fluid space where “blocks of functions” were put to create a series of “intertwined places” to become a flowing open space. We wanted to create every space more flexible and fun so that owners every time coming back home could abandon the routine of daily life and start a journey to find the place to experience their own way of life.



In our design we re-planned the entire space of the house and removed almost all of the non-bearing walls. At the entrance we designed a wood block containing a wardrobe and a storage room. We moved the stairs from the entrance to living area and we completely open the entrance hallway towards the spacious and bright living room, creating a whole blended space. The new stairs makes an original background to the living area.




When the building facade is limited by other conditions, we have to create a new facade. On the back side of the living room we used a platform on the floor and a different color (dark grey) for walls and ceiling to abstractly separate living and the dining area. The cooking area of the kitchen is included in framed glass partition, which make it visually part of the whole living space. The metal staircase with its railing and lamps creates a sculptural elegant background to the whole scene. Stairs railing goes from the first to the second floor becoming the connection element between the two stories. The stairs “fall on” a platform of the fine grey resin. The open-kitchen blue counter is part of the sculptural group of the stairs, and it’s nestled like a blue gem in the whole stairs/open-kitchen black and grey system. The counter hides also a retractable dining table that can be extracted and extended to different lengths as needed.




We fused together the two small bedrooms on the north side to design a bigger guest room with its wardrobe and a reading area. Four transparent glass sliding doors physically separate this room from the rest of the first floor leaving the feeling though that this room is still included in the whole. A tiles covered block containing the reading desk separates without sealing the reading/wardrobe area from the sleeping area




The natural metal stairs gives access to the second floor through a conservatory. In the second floor, we emphasized transparency and fluidity. The master bedroom, wardrobe, dance room, bathroom, the study, the laundry and the lounge area are all are all separated but completely integrated. The owners can freely walk on the second floor entering the dance room from the bedroom going to the restroom, going from the shower to the bathtub area and then again into the bedroom mainly without opening a single door.



From the conservatory a white staircase leads to the third floor which is an open and large working space. The part against the wall is a full-faced bookcase mad with OSB boards that can hold a variety of collections from the owner. A bed that can be pulled is hidden at the base of the bookcase.




In this project we tried to combine a modern urban style at the first floor with a totally different resort feeling at the second. The second floor in fact has a big conservatory full of natural light facing a big green area in Beijing. This brought the idea to create a natural space evocating tropical memories from South East Asia or Mediterranean atmosphere opposed to a more urban space of the first floor made of more straight lines, more geometrical patterns and greyer colors.




In the first floor we emphasized the concept of “blocks” by making every block with a different material or color to contain the different functions. There is no ordinary door but a whole open space separated by functional blocks or minimal glass partitions. All around walls and ceiling are grey color painted. Inside this little saturated atmosphere, dark wood covers the block of the wardrobe and the storage room while the transparent glass walls contain kitchen and bedroom. Blue tiles emerge from the neutral grey scale of color of the first floor covering the entrance wall and the open/kitchen counter bringing an interesting accent to the overall space.




In the second floor we used the natural colors of the “mud palette” and all materials directly inspired by nature. The overall feeling is comfortable and warm. Mutina terracotta tiles designed by Particia Urquiola creates interesting views thorough the space. Walls are covered with rustic plaster, floors with natural fine resin, wood floor, and furniture all made in natural wood and rattan mesh. Ethnic patterns and natural rustic fabrics complete the bed and soft decoration. Curtains are also warm colored natural linen. We designed the bathtub inside the conservatory to allow owner to enjoy the outdoor sun while bathing and having a complete out of city contest experience.



∇ 平面布置图


∇ 剖面图

设计公司:IS architecture and design
摄影:Shawn Koh/ Feng Studios


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