In Beijing, the 'mysterious exclusivity' of the Club Yingjia

Strong external identity and complex and stratified interior experience designed by Neri & Hu

by Malcolm Clark
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Chinese architects Neri & Hu Design and Research Office has recently completed a project for China Vanke, the largest residential developer in the country, responsible for over 12 million square metres of new construction each year. YINGJIA CLUB is located within Vanke headquarters in Beijing and is a five-story multi-purpose building. This project represents a milestone for Vanke, which in recent years has begun to establish itself in the field of design and sustainability.

Responding to the demands of a strong external identity and a varied and flexible interior space, Neri & Hu has designed a new façade and created an internal space with private and public spaces connected at different levels through new openings and continuous spiral staircases.

Inspired by the traditional courtyard house in Beijing, the architectural concept is a layering of public and private spaces, horizontally and vertically, which direct paths and views inviting visitors to explore every space.

The external treatment unifies the inside with a single box shielded from corten steel louvres of different densities. Proceeding upwards and inwards, the spatial experience grows in brightness, lightness and amplitude thanks also to the palette of the materials that gradually varies.

The black tunnel-like entrance on the ground floor “evokes a sense of mysterious exclusivity and suggests the start of a journey that continues beyond its shadowy depths.” Passing this threshold up to reception on the third floor, the “layered” experience begins here. a spatial sequence of contrasting elements - narrow and wide, public and private, dark and light - that are “undone” at every step. Walking along the cavernous and peaceful hallways you can see and access the two main double-height spaces of the hall and of the exhibition gallery. In these areas there are openings and skylights that allow the view to penetrate through visual connections into rooms located at different levels to satisfy the visitor's curiosity.

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    YINGJIA CLUB at Vanke Beijing 75

    YINGJIA CLUB at Vanke Beijing

    Beijing / China / 2011