ARCHISTRY design&research office

ARCHISTRY design&research office

Beijing, CN


Lumiere House by archIStry design&research office

The location of Lumiere House is in the corner of the most prosperous business district of Sanlitun in Beijing. Considering that the owner has a large circle of friends engaged in art, design, and culture, this space is about to be not only a high-end bar serving for outside guests, but a place for a salon especially facing the art communities, cultural workers, and celebrities. It is a quiet and secret place melted in the surrounding business atmosphere, paradoxically, also situated at the center of this surge of information and emotion in the quiet area of the apartment. 

Entering the triangular entrance from the west of the first floor, there is the special-shaped wine display cabinet on the facade of the porch so that the guests could feel and understand the spatial temperament of the bar. The display cabinet bends upward and extends to the interior for a special-shaped ceiling. The special-shaped suspended ceiling is large and made of black metal, which divides the all open-style lobby space into two parts.

Corresponding to the function of the bar, we compare the top of the lobby to the sea level of light and wine (such a metaphor also runs through our works, see "Seafloor" by archIStry). The invisible ceiling originates from the "shipboard" below the sea level. The "shipboard" is interspersed with color changing and variable shading LED strip lights made of glass, which is a metaphor of the ship sailing at sea through light, creating a scene of light interwoven under the sea level. The metal ceiling around the special-shaped suspended ceiling also shows the form of spreading and rippling water waves, which abstractly endows the bar lobby with romantic imagination, comfortable and soft visual feeling.

This is not only a design appeal for appearance, but we see it as an integration of lighting, air conditioning, electrical and other complex suspended ceiling equipment installed on the integrated metal ceiling, to vacate more ceiling space and arrange them in order. Meanwhile, we empty the equipment above the corridor on both sides of the middle of the lobby, make the suspended ceiling in the shape of the arch, and maximize the net height, which is also consistent with the appearance of the suspended ceiling. The fresh air and light are evenly released from the invisible strip of the suspended ceiling. We call it “Dyson” type of integration of space and equipment, which unifies form and function, organically brings the design of equipment and function to life. Corresponding to the door header, the north wall of the interior lobby presents the metal arch-shape façade. Three groups of flat arches cling to and hold up the whole suspended ceiling, creating a complete and shocking scene with the function of the wine display cabinet.

The 8 meters long independent and integrated bar stands across the north side of the lobby. In addition to ensuring that each guest has a usable space of 1-meter width, the bar integrates various functions as no matter a LED drinking light table, private USB charging port, or a private hook, handle, pedal, etc., which we call the integrated design of VIP first-class spatial function (such design approach always runs through our works, see "Quad House" by archIStry). In the center of the lobby, we set a combination of scattered seats. Each group is defined by the side table, and the seating position and area are defined to ensure the use of space. The mirror image of the south wall of the lobby presents the metal arch-shaped facade of the display wall, ensuring the symmetry of the lobby from different perspectives. Three groups of semi-circular banquette seats are set under the arch, which enriches the form and levels of seats in the lobby and combines the semi-circular soft form with the top.

We intentionally blur the difference and boundary between the top surface and the façade. Then the inspiration originated from the word “coelom”, which describes the internal outline of an animal body in the medical field. We see this space as a luminous organism, where the structure and frame within support the coelom, and the independent space inside constitute the organ. Guests walk around in the coelom and toast each other. To present a more holistic lighting effect and to emphasize the concept of a large and soft biological “coelom”, we try to hide the lamp. The luminescent bodies are all concealed in the gaps of the building components so that the light could flow out from the chink evenly and slowly like being in a viscous colloidal state. These discrete, beautiful, and fascinating lights are all custom designed for the "coelom" of Lumiere House. We see this “coelom” organism as a creature with a different rhythm of "breathing state" in different situations. With the change of crowd density, use scene, and music, the light in operation presents elegant and rhythmic color temperature and light intensity fluctuation. The different architectural elements like inner arches and caves as well as the different spatial materials like wood, stone, and metal are all appeared with a wealth of emotional and expression changes. At this time, the sticky light with the property of quasi colloid fills and binds the guests and objects in the "coelom", impinging upon the retina of guests and creating an enjoyable atmosphere with relief joy in this whole space. 

Through the lobby, guests could enter the middle area of the multi-story arched wall on the first floor, from which they could get to the private room and staircase. The high-rise staircase keeps the image of metal skin combined with a soft and perforated tunnel. The mottled and stacked light and shadow on the wall act as a metaphor for the wormhole and lead the guests to the secret world of the underground. Walking down to the entrance of the underground could lead to the restroom, walk-in cellar, and semi-open private room area. Three independent restrooms and porch for waiting are set up for comfort. The walk-in cellar keeps the constant temperature and humidity. Walking through the dark door of the cellar, guests could enter the more private "underground VIP room".

There are five semi-open private rooms from the stairway to the fishbone corridor of the underground, and the enclosed layout is adopted for the private rooms. Each private room is separated from each other by a lifting curtain, which is set according to different heights. Sometimes it forms a scene of bustling crowds, sometimes presents a busy social scene, and others it is a separate quiet scene. Through the contrast between light and the curtain, guests will not forget to mention the shadow when enjoying the light in the bar. A variety of emotions will take place in this space, where the privacy and solitude in the shadow are empty, while the social and activity in the light are pretty full. If necessary, when the curtain is all lifted, the whole underground could be transformed into an open club to hold large or medium-sized gatherings and activities.

Walking to the west end of the fishbone corridor, there is a complementary independent bar and a small scattered area serving the underground, which also connects the courtyard and interior of the underground. Hence, the two floors of the bar can be used separately.

The metal door header extends from the bottom to the top of the colonnade facade and inclines slightly downward to express the concept of openness, modesty, and welcome. Facing the outside area, the shape is abstract and metaphorical of petals and palm forms expressing embrace and attraction. The door header does not occupy the ground area but provides more public space for the pedestrians under the corridor to shelter from the wind and rain. Also, it promotes more social goodwill and welfare. At the same time, it has the function of amplifying sound, blocking light, shielding, reducing and avoiding the noise and light interference to the residents upstairs, as well as creating a harmonious atmosphere between the ground floor stores and residents. The image lights towards the city come out from the chink, forming a halo effect of natural transition between light and dark, and accurately outline the overall shape. In the night, the image lighting is carefully designed with the change of color and shade, showing the theme of the bar. With careful consideration, we repeat the theme of this shape and maintain elegance and rhythm as well. The metal materials used are processed in the factory and assembled on site. They are durable and can be preserved for a long time.

The top of the metal door header naturally extends to the inner colonnade, which blocks the pipelines on the top of the colonnade, extends to the interior, and develops to the main form of the interior top of the lobby. In this way, we take the building, gray space, and interior as a whole, and put this giant product into the transformation space in a way of sculpture installation design.

During the current epidemic environment where the city used to be noisy, this project is valuable with great courage. We hope that this will be a strong shot for Beijing's business environment and bring new hope and enthusiasm for people who live there.

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Status: Built
Location: Beijing, CN
Firm Role: Designer