The site has had a rather unremarkable history. Originally constructed as laundry facility for Shenzhen Bay Hotel in the early 80’s, it is situated along the main road, between a Spanish-style OCT Hotel and the Hexiangning Art Museum. Over many years, the warehouse itself remained unaltered while the city around it rapidly transformed. Considering the significance of its location, the owner has decided to preserve the existing building and remodel the warehouse into an art exhibition loft adjacent to the main gallery. For Urbanus, the remodelling of the site poses difficult questions of how to address the existing urban condition, and how new interventions would relate to it. The outcome of the remodeling would be more than just an extension wing of the main gallery, it would be a strong landmarking piece connecting two distinguished existing buildings, yet still retain an unmistakably independent character of its own. The main architectural gesture is to wrap the entire warehouse with a hexagonal glass curtain wall. The pattern is created from 4 different sizes of hexagons. As a result, the new wall becomes a lively theatrical screen. Viewing from the mainroad in fast-moving traffic, the façade has an animatedly strong visual impact, like un-veiling layers of embroidered Chiffon.
The geometric pattern is more than just surface deep. It is actually a three-dimensional matrix of intersecting elements that project into the gallery spaces, structuring the building’s interior design. The various depth of extrusion of the simple hexagon perimeters has defined the internal public and private spaces, The result is the creation of delightful and unexpected spatial experiences. The transformation of the former laundry factory building has been recorded in the significant pages of history, where Shenzhen has quietly transcended itself from an industrialization-based city into a international metropolis.