chinese warehouse revitalized with renaissance-basilica-like mural celebrates local culture

chinese warehouse revitalized with renaissance-basilica-like mural celebrates local culture

drawing architecture studio revamps historic warehouse

 

A vibrant illustration celebrating culture, industrialization, and architectural feats, Dongbei Renaissance is a mural project that revives a plain gable wall of a preserved warehouse in Shenyang, China, with a Renaissance-basilica-like facade. Completed by Drawing Architecture Studio, the mural artwork revives the tradition of Renaissance frescos to illustrate a lively recollection of different aspects of history and social life in Dongbei — encapsulating the region’s industrial past, economic development, and cultural enrichment.

 

The content of Dongbei Renaissance is inspired by the cultural phenomenon of the same name, but the completed mural is more a celebration of the local community’s optimistic spirit towards life in the face of the difficulties of reality. Transforming the warehouse with a renewed functionality, the project which is part of a wider regeneration scheme has been conceived with the intention to bring new excitement to a historic construction for the general public. ‘The significance of this project may lie in the power of image in the transformation of space and emotional connections that the image can generate between the viewer and itself,’ notes the team at Drawing Architecture Studio.

drawing architecture studio uplifts chinese warehouse with renaissance-basilica-like mural
all images by Wang Hongyue

 

 

illustrating chinese industrialization with renaissance frescos

 

Drawing Architecture Studio’s mural is part of the area of Dong Mao Ku’s wider renovation scheme which sought to create a commemorative attraction for the new neighborhood as it was transformed from an historic storage and transportation hub into a residential space. The design team drew inspiration from the culture boom in Dongbei — a term collectively referring to three provinces in Northeast China: Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang — alongside Renaissance architecture and fresco art in Italy.

 

The Dongbei Renaissance mural revives the historic era’s traditional design languages, including the layered facades, exterior ornamentation shaped from relief and material collage, and interior frescos illustrating spectacular scenes, along the warehouse elevation. The mural design is divided into two layers. As the extension of the original pilasters on the gable wall, some wooden frames are drawn as the first layer to simulate architectural structure. Such a mixture of real and fake gives the overall composition a strong visual framework, which can also find its origin in the Renaissance fresco. The second layer comprises 34 individual drawings of various dimensions inserted into the framework, depicting several subjects including: historic landmarks of Shenyang, the city’s industrial heritage, and renowned venues alluded to in literature, entertainment, and local lifestyle.

drawing architecture studio uplifts chinese warehouse with renaissance-basilica-like mural
Dongbei Renaissance revitalizes a preserved warehouses at Dong Mao Ku

 

 

a celebration of dongbei’s cultural history

 

As part of the renovation project, all preserved warehouses in Dong Mao Ku were renovated as public spaces for the local community. Following the idea of finding renewed functions for the structures, Drawing Architecture Studio takes the interiors of the warehouses as a series of stages to showcase different highlights of life in Dongbei: the Warehouse of Literature portrays some of the most popular bookstores and libraries in the city; the Warehouse of Entertainment is a large performance center in which local musicians, performers, and comedy artists exhibit their talents; and the Warehouse of Gourmet depicts lively scenes from barbeque restaurants and night markets.

 

While the cooling towers at the area’s existing power plant were set to be demolished, the Dongbei Mural imagines one of the structures as a multi-floor bathhouse while another is transformed into an ice park where people enjoy all kinds of winter sports. Elsewhere, scenes revitalize the old workers’ villages and abandoned factories that had become mere imprints on the city’s decline. The mural depicts machines in the factories running at full speed to contribute to the country’s industrial development, meanwhile workers can be seen returning to their clean homes after another day of work.Behind the joyful scenes hide the harsh life changes a generation has experienced due to the economic transformation,’ notes the team.

drawing architecture studio uplifts chinese warehouse with renaissance-basilica-like mural
Drawing Architecture Studio draws inspiration from Renaissance architecture and art

drawing architecture studio uplifts chinese warehouse with renaissance-basilica-like mural
the vibrant frescos encapsulate the region’s industrial past, economic development, and cultural enrichment

drawing architecture studio uplifts chinese warehouse with renaissance-basilica-like mural
a series of stages showcase different highlights of life in Dongbei

drawing architecture studio uplifts chinese warehouse with renaissance-basilica-like mural
mural framework mixed with real and fake structures

drawing architecture studio uplifts chinese warehouse with renaissance-basilica-like mural

drawing architecture studio uplifts chinese warehouse with renaissance-basilica-like mural
cooling tower as a bathhouse

dongbei-renaissance-drawing-architecture-studio-designboom-1

 

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original gable wall of the warehouse
original gable wall of the warehouse
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project info:

 

name: Dongbei Renaissance
designer: Drawing Architecture Studio

design team: Li Han, Hu Yan, Zhang Xintong, Zhang Yuanbo, Sun Tianzhi, Wu Junxi, Li Shiyan, Tao Xuanshu, Li Fengming, Ma Shuyuan, Luo Yuanjia, Yi Yanqi, Li Gezi, Tang Xinyu, Xu Xiaoxuan

commissioned by: China Resources Lands

completed: 2021

photography: Wang Hongyue

 

 

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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