Urbensis has been commissioned to design an essential structure for a commercial area to be developed in central Beijing: the Hopson Showroom. This building will help future tenants to better understand the appearance, materials and actual operation of the commercial area yet to be built.
The showroom has been designed by renovating a one-story building located at the central area of Dawang Lu. A new entry with a dry garden and a stone passage covered by a three-dimensional freestanding steel structure has been implemented. Its geometry refers to the façade planned for the commercial area.
Rather than a flat façade, we converted the geometry into a three-dimensional structure that protects the entrance from rain and dignifies the access to the renovated building at the same time.
Furthermore, a thin, white-colored micro-concrete patina that gives a more refined and abstract look to the building has been used to cover the existing façade made of red tiles.
Once inside, the visitor enters the showroom through the reception area, and continues to the screening room where an explanatory video is displayed. The visitor then moves to a room where an architectural model of the planned commercial area is set to portray and explain the project in a concise three-dimensional way. This room also contains examples of relevant elements such as materials, lighting and decoration.
After the introductory area, visitors arrive at the exhibition zone where they can see and experience –following real scale criteria– areas such as the gourmet market with its barrel vault ceiling and food kiosk; the café with its sculptural-wood bench; office spaces, retail shops and the public landscape.
In general, the project has been designed as a concatenation of very different spaces and functions. However, wood, bronze, white steel and marble are materials that make the showroom portray a continuous atmosphere from beginning to end for visitors to experience as a whole.