Elysium on the Roof of a Mall: Guest House with a Bamboo Garden in Beijing
Design: V STUDIO
Architects: Hu Quanchun, Zhang Fei, Xiang Yu, Wang Songliang, Li Longjie
Location: Bejing (CN)
In China, hospitality is as important as being close to nature – even if the latter is often only symbolic. The puristic new building by V Studio from Beijing combines both of these principles in a highly unusual location: on the roof of a large shopping mall in the central business district of Beijing. This is where the mall’s owner and operator can find rest and relaxation and entertain friends.
Everything about the guest house is designed to make one forget the hustle and bustle of the city. The 320 m2 complex is surrounded by a white plastered enclosure wall with no openings except for the main entrance and a supplier door. A narrow U-shaped bamboo garden wraps around the extensively glazed guest house. At the rear, where the guest house adjoins the technical facilities of the mall, the architects moved the bamboo into the building’s interior, covering it with a glass roof.
Indoors, an open floor plan is semi-divided into two dining areas, a living room and a seating area for tea ceremonies. The kitchen and sideboard are combined in an enclosed block in the middle of the space. The ring-shaped corridor that wraps around this leads to the owner’s private quarters, with a small bedroom and bathroom. These rooms are oriented towards the glass-covered bamboo groves at the back of the building.
All of the building’s elements – the walls, ceilings, high-gloss flooring, the built-in cupboard fronts and even the pebbles in the bamboo groves – are kept pure white. The only colour contrasts are provided by the guests themselves, the bamboo plants and – if the sky in Beijing is ever smog-free – the sections of the sky that can be seen through the frameless facade glazing.