on the 7th floor of an office building in beijing‘s shunyi district, BWAO has brought together an ‘absurd clash of programs’ to create FLOW space. composed of two rental units with a shared central core, the project combines bar and lounge areas with functions for exercise, such as aerobics, boxing and pilates.
all images © jin weiqi
for this project BWAO was inspired by rem koolhaas’s book, delirious new york, where he attributes the overlapping of seemingly unrelated programs to the verticality of skyscrapers. a fictional scene was depicted by his ex-wife, madelon vriesendorp, in an illustration: three naked men ‘eating oysters with boxing gloves, naked, on the ninth floor’. this fusion of programs and ludicrous happening of events is how FLOW space was born.
side view of boxing ring
the scheme employs a logical floor plan, which is achieved by inserting three volumes holding ‘non-workout’ programs into the space. the western volume is home to a bar, lounge, office, pantry, cellar and bathroom, while the inner space is integrated into the building core and contains storage and staff areas. the northern volume is used mainly for lockers, changing rooms and showers. the courtyard area in-between these volumes is used for open exercise and pilates. underneath the canopies connecting these masses are areas for weights and aerobics and the featured pavilion for the boxing ring itself.
front view of boxing ring
the space has a total of ten windows on the western and northern elevations, which open up to the city below and the landscape beyond. rather than having the workout programs enjoy all the views, FLOW space reserves most of its views for the ‘non-workout’ functions, such as the lounge and make-up counter.
open training area
although the workout and non-workout programs are delineated clearly on plan, their spatial articulation is ambiguous as two continuous eave lines unify the distinct volumes. ambient lighting is used throughout the interior to create a contemporary space, from subtle backlighting to bright spotlights. in normal training mode, single colored lighting illuminates the place, while during the after hours ‘nightclub’ mode, the mood is totally transformed with a modulated RGB lighting animation script.
‘one may take off the boxing gloves and shoot up some liquor at the bar as an audience; one may hop on the ring to have a fight, drunk of course; one may enjoy the city view while working by the window; one may enjoy an afternoon aperitif in and out of the cellar and pantry; one may do a make-up facing the city or pee into the cloud sculptures just outside the window…’– BWAO.
gateway to lounge
city view office
city view bathroom
city view makeup counter
bar area in red light
bar area in purple light
bar area in green light
project name: FLOW space
location: cofco shine city town, shunyi district, beijing, china
building area: 5381.96 ft2 (500 m2)
design period: 09/2019 – 10/2019
construction period: 10/2019 – 01/2020
MEP engineers: hang yunfeng, tang chengwu, wei deliao
lighting design: zhanxin studio, school of architecture, tsinghua university
team: zhang xin, han xiaowei, zhao xiaobo, wang dan, niu bentian, mo song, yang caiyun
logo and vi application design: jia kelei
contractor: beijing jpjx construction
carpentry: beijing fudesai wood industry
photography: jin weiqi
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