serie architects / christopher c.m. lee & kapil gupta: hangzhou xintiandi factory h
serie architects / christopher c.m. lee & kapil gupta: hangzhou xintiandi factory h serie architects / christopher c.m. lee & kapil gupta: hangzhou xintiandi factory h
oct 14, 2010

serie architects / christopher c.m. lee & kapil gupta: hangzhou xintiandi factory h

serie architects / christopher c.m. lee & kapil gupta: hangzhou xintiandi factory h all images courtesy serie architects




in march this year, serie architects alongside, grimshaw of london and pysall ruge arkitekten of berlin were selected to renovate and design four large disused factories in hangzhou, china; with serie and pysall ruge designing one of the four factories each, and grimshaw the remaining two. these factories will form the main urban core for a new city centre, named hangzhou xin tian di, located 6km north east of the present city centre.

it became apparent early on that the project faced several conflicting demands. for the project to be economically viable, an insertion of floor areas totalling 4 times its original foot print would have to be accommodated. on the other hand, to fill up the factory would completely diminish its most unique feature – its 16m high volume. thus our main concern is to preserve the main hall of the factory as a spectacular internal volume and to accentuate the industrial drama of this massive void by restoring the concrete truss roof structure and by bringing additional light down through a newly glazed lantern. in addition, we are preserving and restoring the other important elements of the original factory design: the crumbling brick facade, the rusting mobile crane, the brick-built industrial chimney and the grand concrete colonnade.

to abstain from the architectural crime of filling the entire main hall with program, we placed the supporting program – shops, restaurants, bars and creative offices – into a surrounding plinth. this plinth acts as a device to emphasize the main factory building: in one sense it frames the factory, in another sense is serves as a pedestal above which we come face to face with the factory.

as well as absorbing program and supporting the factory, the top surface of the plinth gently undulates and is punctured with green patios and water bodies, constituting an abstraction and re-reading of the natural landscape of hangzhou.

the utilization of the same deep structure as blue frog (circle/plan) for this project enabled the architects to rethink the idea of the mat building as a plinth. here the plinth serves to punctuate the factory as the anchor for the masterplan, with surrounding buildings many times its density. this alternative strategy of rethinking what constitutes an urban core eschews the reliance on hyper dense buildings that accumulates pedestrian flows. instead it presents the reclaimed void as a new urban core.

exploded view

conversion of the factory



existing factory to be converted




project info: use: adaptive re-use of factory to commercial and offices location: hangzhou, china total area: 8,040 sqm design team: chris lee, kapil gupta, bolam lee, martin jameson, sun qin, yifan liu, kevin hung, charlotte sue and amit arya date: may 2010 – ongoing, construction expected jan 2011. models: joseph halligan and michelle young model photography: chris lee and michelle young

  • saana anyone???

    ron gl says:
  • TATE MODERN – even the same sculptures..!

    tate says:
  • Tate Modernish, but still a great renovation!

    Jeannie Remy says:
  • Oh come on it’s fresh and beautiful and a step beyond Tate modern – let’s give credit where it’s due…
    Kudos to Serie for yet another creative solution…

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