Vanke Experience Center by Urbanus


 Image: http://www.chinese-architects.com

The Vanke Experience Center by Urbanus is located in Shenzhen, China. It is the research facility of Vanke China, the largest real estate developer in the country.

 Image: http://www.chinese-architects.com

The experience center is located within an existing 1500 square meter rectangular exhibition hall that is four storeys high. With heavy, concrete supports and a regular floor plan, the old structure was sterile and uninspiring.

 Image: http://www.chinese-architects.com

In order to create a stimulating and imaginative environment, Urbanus inserted a light and transparent free form structure within the existing exhibition hall.

 Image: http://www.chinese-architects.com

The interior of the building is also an experiment in the design of convertible spaces. Multifunctional in nature, they showcase the possibilities of space.

Image: http://www.zhulong.com

Image: http://www.zhulong.com

Image: http://www.zhulong.com

Image: http://www.zhulong.com

Image: http://www.chinese-architects.com

Image: http://www.chinese-architects.com

Urbanus is a architecture and urban design practice with offices in Shenzhen and Beijing. The firm’s works have been featured in publications such as Abitare, a+u, and Domus.

References: Zhulong, HomeWorld, BuildHR, Chinese-Architects

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Dafen Art Gallery by Urbanus


 Image: http://www.zhulong.com

Dafen Art Gallery by Urbanus is located at the Dafen Oil Painting Village in Shenzhen, China.

 Image: http://www.zhulong.com

The Dafen Art Gallery is built in the most unlikely of places, within a commercial and residential part of the city. The objective of the gallery is to combine culture and commerce with everyday life.

 Image: http://www.zhulong.com

The Gallery was commissioned by the state in recognition of the commercial value of cultural production. The Dafen Artist Village, famous for its small galleries that produce replicas of oil paintings, generates billions in revenue a year through the export of its products internationally.

 Image: http://www.zhulong.com

The Gallery is to tap onto the synergy of the village and to become a new cultural centre that allows for the co-existence of high and low art, where exhibition and trade occur simultaneously.

In order to achieve this, the connection of the Gallery to its surroundings is of utmost importance. Different pathways at different levels were designed to channel people into the site.

 Image: http://www.zhulong.com

Plaza spaces were also created in front of the gallery for vendors of oil painting replicas to exhibit and sell their artworks.

 Image: http://www.zhulong.com

Besides exhibition spaces, there are also studios spaces for rent within the gallery complex.

 Image: http://www.zhulong.com

 Image: http://www.zhulong.com

 Image: http://www.zhulong.com

 Image: http://www.zhulong.com

 Image: http://www.zhulong.com

Urbanus is a architecture and urban design practice with offices in Shenzhen and Beijing. The firm’s works have been featured in publications such as Abitare, a+u, and Domus.

References: Zhulong, Baidu Library, CAMA

OCT Art and Design Gallery by Urbanus


Image: http://www.zhulong.com

The OCT Art and Design Gallery is an additions and alterations project by Urbanus located in Shenzhen, China. The original structure, built in the early 1980s, was a warehouse that served as the laundry house of the Shenzhen Bay Hotel.

Image: http://www.zhulong.com

In the alteration, the warehouse was wholly preserved. A new glass façade with a hexagonal graphic pattern was built around the preserved warehouse.

 Image: http://www.china-designer.com

The hexagonal motif is repeated in the museum’s interior. Derived from various combinations and permutations of the hexagon, this results in a complex and irregularly shaped interior space.

 Image: http://www.china-designer.com

In the design, two distinct exhibition spaces were created through the use of materiality. In the first instance, the entire space is totally cladded in timber.

Image: http://www.zhulong.com

Another part of the museum employed concrete on all its surfaces.

 Image: http://www.china-designer.com

The irregular spaces of the new architectural intervention are in contrast to the rectangularity of the preserved warehouse, which is also accentuated by its white walls. The windows of the preserved warehouse are entirely boarded up, creating an enclosed exhibition space.

 Image: http://www.china-designer.com

Thus, it is only from the newly added architectural spaces that views of the surroundings can be taken in.

 Image: http://www.china-designer.com

The irregularity of the newly added spaces endows them with a functional flexibility. Besides serving as exhibition halls, they can also accommodate a variety of different events such as fashion, product and jewelry launches.

Image: http://www.zhulong.com

 Image: http://www.china-designer.com

Image: http://www.zhulong.com

Image: http://www.zhulong.com

Image: http://www.zhulong.com

Urbanus is a architecture and urban design practice with offices in Shenzhen and Beijing. The firm’s works have been featured in publications such as Abitare, a+u, and Domus.

References: Baidu Library, Zhulong, China Designer