Coloring the Glass Ceiling

John Hill
10. January 2020
Photographs by Wang Hongyue & Lu Wenhui © Drawing Architecture Studio

With the Chenghua Party School in Chengdu, China, Drawing Architecture Studio — the Beijing studio of architect Li Han and designer Hu Yan — has transferred their distinctive, colorful wall murals to a glass ceiling that divides and enlivens the school's three-story atrium.

The glass ceiling sits below another glass surface: a barrel-vaulted roof that brings plenty of daylight to the atrium. That light is then filtered to the lower two floors through the glass ceiling's colorful surfaces. The image there depicts factories, workshops, chimneys, a viaduct and other structures that were collaged together into a complex composition of lines and color. The project bears the imprint of Drawing Architecture Studio's recognizable murals. Here, translated onto horizontal glass surfaces, the image literally glows, is two-dimensional yet spatial, and makes us excited for future DAS projects.

The glass ceiling seen from above, with a barrel-vaulted wall mural by Drawing Architecture Studio in the distance.
The glass ceiling from below, where it illuminates a display space.
A collage of three drawings was the basis for the glass ceiling...
...but the collage was simplified before being applied to the glass panes as printed film.

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