The project is located in a granary built by Shunde county in the 1980s. Next to the 70m wide river is the Shunde Lunjiao Dachong, which has been the venue for dragon boat races, and dragon boat crews can often be seen shuttling through the river. The design site is a long glass box (20x6m in length and width) that was added after the renovation.
Although it is located at the entrance of the building, the external facade is covered by plants and the interior is dim; while the internal staircase leading to the first floor (for other tenants) takes up 2/3 of the space, resulting in the interior being only 3m wide at the narrowest point, and at the same time, at a floor height of 4.2m, the space at the bottom of the staircase creates a sense of oppression and is difficult to use. Our aim was to provide a comfortable and complete service space, while at the same time combining the characteristics of the site with a sense of being here and now for the FEI, clients and passers-by.
Walking from the residential area to the riverside, you pass through a field of weeds, there is no shade along the way, and Shunde's long summer, the sun is fierce, often rainstorms, resulting in humidity and sultriness, where we hope that people arriving at the FEI can be taken care of with shade and cool breeze, leaving a place of relaxation and comfortable. In terms of design, we placed a wooden pavilion between the original glass box and the outdoor area.
The pavilion transforms the high and narrow space into a more pleasant scale, while providing shade and confidence for different people; the new pavilion roof lowers the line of sight to 2.6m, and the additional wooden columns extend the sense of indoor space, as well as providing a moderate sense of enclosure for people resting outdoors, and the overall dark colour filters out a lot of noisy information, allowing people to get closer to nature and the landscape.
In close proximity to the human scale, we use a large area of wood and plywood, paving the floor and skirting the use of rough granite, these materials, with the passage of time, frequent use will slowly change, and the real texture of the material is also better to highlight the exquisite partisserie, warm ceramic lamps and curtains for the square space to bring a little breath of relaxation. In this way, the industrial and commercial precision of the galvanised steel and glass-aluminium curtain wall is reduced, allowing the partisserie to blend in easily with nature.
Taking into account the characteristics of the site, we designed tables for different positions indoors and outdoors, some of which were made from leftover wood: window tables for sitting with the outdoor plants and the river, tatami mats and square tables for sitting with people, and wooden railings for holding snacks outdoors, and so on.
Every morning, sunlight enters the house through the newly opened wooden windows and caresses the stone floor, tatami mats or wooden walls; in the afternoon, the outdoor plants are illuminated, reflecting a greenish colour in the darkened interior; and at sunset, the long wooden pavilions are flooded with the shimmering light of the river.