china-based office for urban renewal has turned an old school into ‘wuhan creative design center’. the site was originally a dormitory of wuhan iron and steel corporation (WISCO), built 70 years ago. this renovation project involves ‘no.3 primary school’ located on the central axis of the large community.
images by liu anqi
office for urban renewal retained the existing teaching buildings but demolished the playground and other buildings to expose the historical façade on the south side. the north elevation retains its original appearance as much as possible and shows traces of various historical periods. this includes red bricks from the 1950s, washed stone from the 70s, ceramic tiles from the 90s, and contemporary steel mesh. the steel mesh not only adds a layer of ‘new clothes’ to the building but also lets people see the historical façade that’s behind it.
the most characteristic part of the project is what the architects call the ‘honggang crown’, which is the red roof platform that visually links the yangtze river to the north with nearby honggang city to the south. this bold architectural element follows the concept of ‘structure is decorative’ while paying tribute to honggang, which is known as the ‘red steel city’. it also relates to the wuhan yangtze river bridge built by WISCO.
office for urban renewal also took care of the landscape design, or what they call the ‘honggang hill’. the landscaping was designed to connect with the city’s core facilities on the south side while preserving the main entrance as well.
the entrance to wuhan creative design center ascends then descends over a landscape of red tiles combined with luminous lighting. named ‘yesterday’s eaves’ this aspect of the design aims to evoke memories of childhood games.
the main entrance of the building was redesigned with red brick. on the one hand, old materials were used to show the warmth of history; on the other hand, a variety of new tiling techniques were tried to express contemporary design concepts. many innovative architectural structures are hidden in jagged tiles and arc-shaped rain sheilds.
the overall interior design attempts to retain the original spatial scale as much as possible. to achieve this, extremely high requirements were placed on the electromechanical design.
the finished interiors explore a dialogue between the ruggedness of steel and iron and the exquisiteness of fashion. a spiral staircase wrapped in red steel plates serves as the main protagonist, relating back to the red roof platform and the site’s industrial history.
name: wuhan creative design center
location: wuhan, hubei province, china
client: OCT wuhan
client team: chu yunhong, dai hongquan, yang xu, he xin, zhu zehua, chen hua, sun hong, lu fei
architectural design: office for urban renewal
lead architects: ling yingsong
design team: ling yingsong, wang kexiang, gao yibin, huang rui, huang longchen
landscaping design: office for urban renewal
interior design: office for urban renewal
area: 4,703 sqm (50,622 sqft)
cost: $8 million USD
photography: liu anqi
designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.
edited by: lynne myers | designboom