LYCS architecture’s new headquarters for a children’s clothing company in hangzhou is a multi-purpose office building converted from a warehouse to accommodate the expanding business. the main challenge was to curate an open spatial sequence suitable for mixed programs including general office space and a wide range of auxiliary functions. this project makes a good case in the context of contemporary chinese urbanization in which the adaptive reuse of outdated warehouses is widely practiced as an urban renewal method.

the new headquarters is located in hangzhou’s binjiang district



the previously existing building was a 50m by 50m embroidery-manufacturing warehouse, completed in 2003. characterized by the long spatial depth and rigid column grid, the conventional factory layout makes the interior under-lit and poorly ventilated, which hurts the versatility of the interior. the design proposes a total reconfiguration of the existing spatial order, maximizing the potential utility of the rigorous legacy structural grid. with the introduction of connecting tissues, LYCS aims to vitalize the linearity of the layout, achieving a versatile work space with plenty of light and air. 

the building was previously an industrial warehouse



to address the lack of natural light, three atriums are introduced to the center of the building mass. the atriums fit into long-span structural bays, making them column-free light courtyards. LYCS also used full-height glass curtains to bring more light to the desks, which is instrumental in bringing the lux level to a comfortable standard. the introduction of three atriums and interior glass curtains not only light up the building from the inside, but also establish a practical spatial order.

the main challenge was to curate an open spatial sequence suitable for mixed programs



when following the designed circulatory path across the building, one constantly experiences alternating height differences signified by layers of glass curtains, which is very much relatable to human scale. such spatial order is further accentuated by a comprehensive circulatory system of ramps, catwalks, and stairs that connect different programs across all levels. 

the project makes a good case in the context of contemporary chinese urbanization



the system cuts through a matrix of spaces/programs of diverse spatial qualities, serving not only as the traffic network but also as the apparatus of an architectural promenade, moderating the hierarchy of the established spatial matrix. it also activates the interior, generally encouraging creativity and exploration. full-height windows provide sufficient natural lighting along the perimeter. the angled and protruding window bays lighten the monolithic building mass, adding visual intrigue to the façade.

in china, adaptive reuse of outdated warehouses is widely practiced as an urban renewal method

throughout the interior, one constantly experiences alternating height differences

LYCS has also used full-height glass curtains around the atriums in order to bring more light into the offices

the architects worked to design a carefully planned circulatory path around the building

illustrated sectional diagram of the pathways and open courtyard spaces

floor plan / level 0

floor plan / level +1

a section of the building



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: lindsay duddy | designboom











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