atelier xi regenerates abandon factories into creative hub in china

atelier xi regenerates abandon factories into creative hub in china


Sculptural Art & Creative Park in Pingshan District


Atelier XI has refurbished an old factory campus into a sculptural art and creative space. The project is located in an old industrial district with abandoned factories in Shenzhen, China, — a cultural park that has become the new home for several creative studios and artists since 2010. The result sees an elongated layout running through the existing buildings and features an oblong pavilion and the revitalization of a neglected guardhouse. With these interventions, the design team sought to blend different materials and scales harmoniously, reflecting the historical traces of the area. atelier xi regenerates abandon factories into creative hub in chinaAll images by Zhang Chao



an architectural language that blends the division between factories and houses


Three years ago, Atelier XI was invited by Mr. Liu Xiaodu, the director of Pingshan Art Museum and Eastern Shenzhen Cultural Development Company, to bring new life into the public spaces of the park. After visiting the site, it was clear that the park consisted of two distinct areas. The northern one features larger volumes that once served as factories, while the southern part consists of a series of small-scale red brick houses and brick-paved steps. Based on this segregation and on a limited budget, the architects proposed to form a main axis of public spaces in the center of the cultural district. Thus, the project sought to generate dialogues between buildings of diverse materials and scales through strategic and visual reconnection.atelier xi regenerates abandon factories into creative hub in china



a continuous public corridor


An elongated pavilion made of red brick and black steel stretches along with the entrances of the three exhibition halls, forming a continuous public corridor. The design team reshaped the original roadside parking area to the west side of the district, transforming the main street into a major public space for pedestrian activities. The corridor guides visitors, connecting the main street with the back road, while evacuation passages invite them to explore further. Overall, they opted for a gentle intervention that respects the original buildings, all the while maximally preserving the historical traces, such as the vibrant climbing vines and graffiti on the walls.atelier xi regenerates abandon factories into creative hub in china



bringing new life into a neglected guardhouse 


In the middle of the district, there was a derelict guardhouse that had been proposed to be demolished in earlier reconstruction plans. Instead, the architects suggested maintaining and refurbishing this structure as a nod to architectural memory. The first level is revived from the existing skeleton and clad in red cement fiberboard. It can serve as a visitors center open to the public for information releases and beverage sales. On the other hand, the upper one is built as an extension, taking shape as an independent steel structure. This level can accommodate temporary exhibitions, serving as an art space. Among the two volumes, there is a 10cm vertical gap that emphasizes the connection between the past and present. atelier xi regenerates abandon factories into creative hub in china



rearranging the main exhibition hall by lowering the ground floor


The facade renovation of the main exhibition reflects the original sloping gable roof of this factory building. Simultaneously, it mimics the contour of the surrounding mountains, forming a geometric hilltop with an abstract composition. The main exhibition hall hosted an interior space of 1,000 square meters. Although spacious, the height clearance wasn’t enough to respond to the needs of the contemporary art exhibitions. Given the tight construction budget, the architects suggested digging down 1.5 meters for a proper ceiling height instead of lifting the entire roof of trusses.


Once finished in September 2021, the pavilion served as the Pingshan sub-venue as part of the 17th Shenzhen Cultural Expo and hosted more than 20 contemporary artists’ sculpture artworks. Thanks to the reconstruction, large pieces were successfully installed in the sunken area inside the exhibition hall. Regarding the future, Pingshan Sculptural & Creative Park is meant to become a vital part of the cultural and artistic community in the area and continue its mission to provide this rapidly industrialized city with a place of inspiration for culture and art production.atelier xi regenerates abandon factories into creative hub in china


atelier xi regenerates abandon factories into creative hub in china

atelier xi regenerates abandon factories into creative hub in chinaatelier xi regenerates abandon factories into creative hub in china





project info:


name: Pingshan Sculptural Art & Creative Park Renovation Design
designer: Atelier XI

location: Pingshan District, Shenzhen, China

lead architect: Chen Xi
design team: Zhu Jing, Huang Jiajie, Weng Cekai, Xu Huanshi, Liang Jiaxin, Shi Yiyuan, Wen Weijian, Huang Sisi, Zhang Zixiang
design adviser: Liu Xiaodu
lighting design: Visual interaction of Aura

photography: Zhang Chao



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissionsfeature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. See more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: christina petridou | designboom

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