Golden Proscenium

Quanzhou / China / 2019

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In 2016 , Wutopia lab was commissioned by Quanzhou Ancient City Xinmen Culture & Travel  Co., Ltd. to transform a vegetable market and the affiliated public toilet located on Xinmen Street into a complex of co-working space and guesthouse. The project covered by a golden proscenium was unveiled in mid- 2019 showing a new urban renewal strategy. 


When the old city is unable to be demolished as a whole, whether to tear down and redevelop or move the residents out and preserve the old city is not working, micro-renovation might be the best choice for the situation, the micro-renovation pieces is embedded in the preserved architecture and residents’ daily life. In the old city reconstruction projects, the architect not only need to clarify the planned boundary line should also find out the boundary in the residents’ heart, in order to reduce disputes. How to get the understanding of the aborigines, response to the ancient city context and effectively activate these spaces, which has become a challenge for clients and designers. 


The buildings on Xinmen Street show the specific character of old cities, fragmentation and clutter, the buildings are of various ages, some are illegal construction while others are in archaize facades. But it also presents an abundant urban texture and experience. The site we are going to rebuild is in a chaotic condition. The open space between the north side of the vegetable market and the residential building belongs to the vegetable market company but has been used by the surrounding residents for parking and stacking debris due to unmanned management. 


Since the surrounding is messy, over project can be neat. I decided to make effective use of the continuous surface of the vegetable market and the public toilet, which is 136 meters long. Integrate them in a complete form, containing different parts, while the continuity and unity of the facade form a controlled expression in the scattered old city. 


The architect was inspired by Fu Jian grand wedding ceremony, we chose the gold perforated aluminum as façade, gold can well express once glorious history of the Far East port of Quanzhou and effectively occupy strategic pass Xinmen Street. In the evening, the golden color abdication to the veil is generally translucent curtain, thorn, the flower of Quanzhou, blooms quietly on this curtain. 


We changed the public toilet to guesthouse, and did not make too much modification on the facade, retaining the original distinctive window, only reinforcing the structure and painting the exterior wall. The golden curtain took over its prominent position on the corner of the street, and it was modestly hidden behind it. The vegetable market was converted into a co-working space. We did not change the original design facing the side of the residential building. Halfway through the construction, the antique façade with steel structure is a result of iterative construction. My strategy is to invest limited funds to the controlling facade, it retains the antique facade. 


We covered the open space with yellow asphalt, connecting the yellow floor of the room, responding to the gold of the facade and defining the boundaries of the design. 


On August 2019, the golden proscenium finally opened in Quanzhou. It is a declaration that architects can cut into the old city with precision scalpels and present the possibilities of the future of the old city in a simple and powerful way. It is also a declaration of the developer, a micro-renovation based on local emotions can be announced in a dramatic way. It is also the declaration of Quanzhou, the old city can have a way of iterative development besides demolition. The old city can be reborn at last. 


Project Name: Renovation of Quanzhou Xinmen Street Vegetable Market


Design Firm: Wutopia Lab


Chief Architect: YU Ting


Project Architect: DAI Xinyang


Design team: Architect Bob Hu


Construction Drawing: Fujian Zhongjing Architectural Design Institute Co., Ltd


Curtain Wall: Zhongxing Lianfeng Construction Group Co., Ltd.


Photography: CreatAR Images


Client: Quanzhou Ancient City Xinmen Culture & Travel Co., Ltd.


Address: Xinmen Street, Quanzhou, China


Area: 2098 sqm


Project year: 2019.08

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    In 2016 , Wutopia lab was commissioned by Quanzhou Ancient City Xinmen Culture & Travel  Co., Ltd. to transform a vegetable market and the affiliated public toilet located on Xinmen Street into a complex of co-working space and guesthouse. The project covered by a golden proscenium was unveiled in mid- 2019 showing a new urban renewal strategy.  When the old city is unable to be demolished as a whole, whether to tear down and...

    Project details
    • Year 2019
    • Work finished in 2019
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Markets / Building Recovery and Renewal
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