xigo studio’s minimal apartment in beijing draws on the 'atom' to exude light and vitality

xigo studio’s minimal apartment in beijing draws on the 'atom' to exude light and vitality

Xigo studio completes ‘original realm’ apartment in beijing 


XIGO STUDIO’s concept of the minimal Original Realm apartment in Beijing City, China, draws on fundamental forms in nature to inform the design of the space. The architects extend the physical model of the ‘atom’, abstracting its structural form and transforming it in space and plane to express purity and vitality. Designed for a family of three, the apartment combines high living sanitation, efficient storage solutions and minimalism in the design and spatial form, while fostering a harmonious relationship between the structure and its residents.


Dismantling the original structure which had well-regulated dynamic and static zones, XIGO STUDIO removed the kitchen wall partition, presenting a transparent and open public area with increasing mobility many design possibilities. The architects reframed the structural relationships of different rooms in the public areas, and endowed the originally single ‘box body’ with a progressive space sequence formed around a core ‘nucleus’ stage. Flooded with natural light and with a serene ambience, the layout of Original Realm promotes function through form and develops a sense of connectivity for an enhanced living environment.

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all images by Li Ming



overlaying streamlines add rhythm to the minimal home


XIGO STUDIO incorporate an arc screen wall, between the hallway and dining room, with two lines that ‘move in the direction of light’. The entrance on the left leads to the main moving line which connects the whole space, while the moving line on the right is connected with the open kitchen and leads to another opening. Between the two, a third back-and-forth moving line is formed around the dining area behind the screen wall, which endows the space with openness. The shielding function of the arc screen wall ensures the privacy of the internal space, while also foreshadowing the subsequent space functions. Between the screen wall and the entrance door, a small distance dislocation is formed to introduce light. 


The China-based design team boldly abstracts and summarizes the space form with a clear division of gamut boundaries, and muted, neutral tones and structure. Streamlines extend and rotate across the ceiling throughout the space, adding an intense, dynamic rhythm. With a minimal design and form, the apartment’s functional content is retained and prioritized. The application of cool colors and integration of geometric shapes jointly endow the dining room with a visual character of an exhibition hall. Accordingly, the curated and equally minimal selection of furniture becomes as artefacts and echoes the environment in form and color. The living room features the TACTILE banana boat sofa designed by Italian designer Vincenzo De Cotiis for Baxter, in harmony and unified with the space through its streamlines’ hugging shape and ductility. A discreet storage function and sideboard cabinets are embedded into the walls, while the entire TV wall is designed with a storage system that starts from the ground, providing maximum storage space with a discreet solution. 

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the spatial program stems from a ‘nucleus’ core stage


In the living room, XIGO STUDIO integrates the bar counter with the piano area as the center stage — the ‘nucleus’ of the space — which connects with each functional area arranged around it and forms the core visual focus with streamlined motions. The streamlined drop ceiling extends from the balcony to the corridor, emphasized by the color distinction of gray and white. At the same time, the plane’s color partition extends to the three-dimensional space segmentation. The color gamut’s shape division of the floor echoes with the color form of the ceiling. Meanwhile, the gray structure formed correspondingly extends to the internal corridor. Looking towards the living room, the continuous streamlined drop ceiling outlines the frame of the space picture, and extends to the entrance of the corridor on the side, leading the space’s kinetic potential to the interior of apartment.

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a rhythmic movement of light touches every corner


‘The participation of light is a prerequisite for space to be presented in our vision in the form of space’, comments XIGO STUDIO. The architects incorporates natural light into each corner of the space. The original corridor, as the transitional space for public and private areas, is wrapped in the center of the space structure, appearing closed and narrow. Rearranging the original site, XIGO STUDIO exchanges the location of the original study with the secondary bedroom to introduce more natural light into the corridor and master bathroom. The master bedroom is located opposite to the corridor to allow natural light to flow through when the bedroom door opens in the daytime. Meanwhile, ultra white glass is used as the partition between the study and corridor, ensuring the transparency. In the living room, from the north side, the influence of light is gradually strengthened and weakened in the transition of the four living levels, creating a progressive spatial rhythm from the entrance to the interior of the apartment. 


With the secondary bedroom, XIGO STUDIO designs an independent, multifunctional space for both living and resting. With ample storage, three sets of lockers with glass doors are installed at intervals, which enriches the space and creates a sense of breathability. Gray and blue structures define the functional division of ‘learning and game’, and zones are arranged orderly, with color gamuts are differentiated from each other, and forms related to each other. The bed is connected to the bay window, forming an overall rest area, and nestling a discreet storage cabinet. In the master bedroom, XIGO STUDIO designs a well-organized walk-in cloakroom installed with an orbital stealth door with a hidden track, achieving the effect of minimal suspension.

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project info:


name: Origin Realm
designer: XIGO STUDIO

location: Haidian District, Beijing City, China

area: 188 sqm

chief designers: Liu Yang, Zhang Yixin

scheme deepening design: Wang Dan

design period: July 2019 – June 2021

completion of construction: April 2022

academic adviser: Zhu Li

construction foreman: Zhu Xingui

materials: Gobbetto Resin, Jotun Paint, Delfone Rock Beam, and Enjoywood

floor furniture: BUCHUAN LIFE · Kitchen & Armoire, Siloni Casa, Collectie Vintage Furniture




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: ravail khan | designboom

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