The Red Courtyard

Red Courtyard, China
Architects
Superimpose Architecture
Location
Red Courtyard, China
Year
2021
Client
Vanke Beijing
Team
Carolyn Leung, Ben de Lange, Ruben Bergambagt, Ana Raluca Timisescu, 杜云桥, 许潇予, 彭世杰, 罗竣蔚, Inci Lize Ogun

Superimpose designed a community-focused mixed-use development for Vanke as the new heart of Beijing’s Yongfeng residential district. The main design challenge was to create a community catered and pleasant public space whilst dealing with strict site complexities such as a high floor-to-area-ratio and a low height restriction. Superimpose used the Chinese big red doors and courtyards as the main concept references. The colour red symbolises fortune, happiness and joy in Chinese culture.

The mixed-use footfall will mainly be generated from food and beverage retail and a three-story high large-floor-plate office. The design solution for the difficult site provided by Superimpose is a C-shape volume that opens up towards the main street on the west, inviting visitors to arrive into a lush and colourful central courtyard. The white volume is ‘excavated’ on the ground floor and parts of the second floor revealing a red concrete retail area, creating ‘pockets’ for the public realm. The ‘excavation’ process also reveals the structural columns cladded in the same red colour, creating a comfortable and distinctive human-scale colonnade.

The courtyard addresses a sunken plaza accessible by a large terracing staircase, which increases footfall towards the basement plaza and activates the F&B retail. The big staircase integrates lush green landscaping to connect the landscaping on the ground floor to the landscaping of the sunken courtyard.

The façade of the hovering ‘C-shape’ office volume is materialised by a white aluminium louvered glass façade, which allows for plenty of daylight for the office spaces. It also provides a calm and serene rhythm and contrast to the red coloured ‘excavated’ façade on the ground and second floor. At the east façade, strict fire escape regulations requested for a large amount of fire escape staircases. Superimpose designed these as feature outdoor staircases behind a perforated mesh façade panels.

Superimpose believes that this human-scale mixed-use project will not only draw attention from the community by its distinctive and vibrant colourful appearance; but also introduces a new identity and a community hub for the local residents and office workers.

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