bwao designs a state-of-the-art muay thai studio within zaha hadid's wangjing SOHO complex
 

bwao designs a state-of-the-art muay thai studio within zaha hadid's wangjing SOHO complex

within zaha hadid‘s massive wangjing soho complex in beijing lies a state-of-the-art bwao studio-designed muay thai space. as a horizontally spread out building, tower 1 anchors the plot with its building end while the other one being the high point of tower 3 — a point of convergence full of opportunities. as an anchoring tenant, its three sides are a continuous curve, with only one straight edge and seven columns that lean into the space with various degrees.


the interior space has a dominating presence within the wangjing SOHO complex

 

 

for the most part, the muay thai studio is an open-spaced plan where the centrepiece is a 5 sqm fighting ring with a height of 800 mm. however, facilities such as showers and changing rooms are in an enclosed space. a linear volume is applied to the west edge, condensing the foyer, bar, shower and changing area into one space and leaves the rest to the open area, maximising the spatial potential. the fighting ring is placed within the space that is surrounded by the four slanted columns, forming the visual focus of the entire space. this is consistent with the plan of a theatre: the shrinking end of a fanning plan is used for the stage while the open area is for the audience.


muay thai space’s name in chinese composed of pixels that are derived from its emblem

 

 

in order to resolve the issues regarding a structural synthesis is in the final analysis. an arch system is applied to all the bays between the columns on the south, north and east sides. along the east-west axis, a series of arches are also created between the columns. these nine arch controlling lines form the very basis of structural genesis. all these surfaces are joined into one continuous canopy after the trimming process. the arch shapes are controlled by adjustable conic curves, achieving spatial efficiency while remaining its continuity. the upper part is partitioned along the east-west axis, forming the ceiling components. the lower parts are contoured vertically, forming the pillars that support the ceiling.


the luminescent muay thai logo abstracted by perforated aluminum panels leads the guests to the entrance

 

 

this not only differentiates the two conceptually, but also functionally: the pillars need to be solid as to interact with people directly, while the ceiling needs to be open as to accommodate all service conduits. all these components are digitally cut using 18mm thick density boards. the seams of these component panels are arranged in a fashion that achieves both spatial effect and material efficiency. the lighting above the ceiling are arrayed and lit upward so that the diffuse light from the ceiling can penetrate the panels, creating a soft ambient light environment that one can totally immerse within.


the main space unveils itself as one passes through the entry portal

 

 

the four pillars within the open space concentrate on plan, the arches contract in section, and the ring is staged on a platform. all these add to the effect of total enclosure for anyone on the ring. the program areas on the open plan are defined by varying ceiling heights: high at the apex of the arch in the center for training area, and low at the edges for miscellaneous training areas. the arches also respond to the unban challenge set above: bringing muay thai, a highly competitive sport back to the coliseum symbolically.


the fighting ring is highly visible with its elevated massing in the open space


the seams of ceiling panels are arranged in a fashion that achieves both spatial effect and material efficiency


an elevated vantage view into the space from the mezzanine level, where the lighting and atmosphere change as one gets closer to the ceiling


the lighting above the ceiling are arrayed and lit upward so that the diffuse light from the ceiling can penetrate the panels, creating a soft ambient light environment


another world of muay thai as seen through the exercising mirrors


a line of hanging punching bags are presented to the city one one side, and reflected in the mirrors of the exercising area on the other side


lockers, showers and changing rooms are situated in an enclosed space

 

 

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: lynn chaya | designboom

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