thanlab office: 2010 art space in factory 798 thanlab office: 2010 art space in factory 798
jan 12, 2011

thanlab office: 2010 art space in factory 798

‘2010 art space’ by thanlab office in beijing, china image courtesy thanlab office

chinese architecture studio thanlab office has designed ‘2010 art space’, a three-storey exhibition space on the culturally-rich grounds of factory 798 in chaoyang, beijing. having hosted a number of important art events including the city’s first biennale and the dashanzi international art festival, the district is the home to a thriving artistic community among old decommissioned military factory buildings. the new project will be a new addition to the site’s mix of architectural styles.

street view image courtesy thanlab office

led by architect and professor tao han, the firm approached the design in a pragmatic, layered system: three main programs of the facility was identified and stacked on top of eachother as storeys, resulting in the exhibition space on the ground floor, administrative and services on the second, and studio spaces on the third. using a tree-like structure, the separate zones were intermixed and integrated throughout the building, while simultaneously subdividing the static geometry of the floors. the result is a multi-level structure that overlaps and associates both art and commercial spaces together.

rendering of first floor exhibition space image courtesy thanlab office

‘light tubes’ in the exhibition spaceimage courtesy thanlab office

second floor interior viewimage courtesy thanlab office

body of the light tube on the third floor studioimage courtesy thanlab office

in addition to defining the space, the branching structure of the design enables natural light to wash down the levels while providing lines of sight to different zones. the tops of the arms puncture through to the roof, remaining open to the sun. to provide an ideal condition for the exhibition rooms, extensive light studies were conducted which also determined the permeability of the facade.

openings in the ceilingimage courtesy thanlab office

light studies (clockwise from top left) 6:00 am, 9:00 am, 12:00 pm, 3:00 pmimage courtesy thanlab office

subdivide the space in to a tree structure to let sunlight in and provide views outimage courtesy thanlab office

within the tree: art space outside the tree: commercial spaceimage courtesy thanlab office

programmatic diagram – plan viewimage courtesy thanlab office

physical model demonstrating the tree geometryimage courtesy thanlab office

the building’s site image © designboom

branch structure, mid construction image courtesy thanlab office

the tops of the light tubes on the roof levelimage courtesy thanlab office

images © designboom

image © designboom

looking up through the skylight image © designboom

steel tubes in place for the light branches image © designboom

images © designboom

image © designboom

aerial view during foundation constructionimage courtesy thanlab office

construction shotsimages courtesy thanlab office

floor plan / level 0

floor plan / level +1

floor plan / level +2

layout of the light tubes



schematic diagram – stacking of uses and programs (pink) guest room (blue) art agency office / restaurant (green) art exhibition space

schematic diagram – distribute the exhibiting spaces throughout the building by puncturing through the different levels (pink) guest room (blue) art agency office / restaurant (green) art exhibition space

schematic diagram – tree structure translated to the facade treatment (pink) guest room (blue) art agency office / restaurant (green) art exhibition space

3D model of steel structure

  • nice

    Azhar S. says:
  • That’s so wrong to put in 798. Previous building on the site is much better piece to work on with. Shame!

    Li Rui says:
  • The second floor makes me feel completely claustrophobic. Squeeeeezed. Help !

    Andrée says:
  • this idea is good.
    BUT human model in section are sanaa’s original …
    Chinese often make free use of someone things.
    if you are professional , you have got to stop doing that.

    yk says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news