Architecture is the container of Time Spirit.——Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe


When the Bauhaus laboriously removed the complicated decorations and carvings on the buildings in Europe, China had just been opened to the world. In the following decades, we spent a short period of time to complete the process of urbanization which the western countries has been completing for hundreds of years.Yet the historical urban texture and regional culture were torn down and dispelled, everything made way for efficiency, and the functionalism that was packaged back to China was swallowed whole, and it was alienated before it was digested and became the common urban and rural scene today.


The third-line construction of China is a strategic construction shift in the 1960s and 1970s out of consideration for war preparations. A large number of industries, especially the military industry, were moved to the relatively remote and backward mountainous areas in the southwest and northwest, which are called third-line areas, including Guizhou. The riverside where the project is located ushered in large-scale industrial construction during this period.


Guiyang Bearing Plant is the epitome of such an industrial process. Different from the industrial buildings that grew in batches after Economic Reform and Open Up, Guiyang Bearing Plant was built in 1958. Its architectural form and spatial planning inevitably bear traces of Soviet aesthetics and industrial aesthetics in the planned economy era. As a production building in the industrial age, its construction was born under a standardized procedure, and the designer‘s face was blurred, eliminating all “self” expressions.


Although architecture has been eliminated from the human emotions, decades of industrial progress, generations of people have moved from the developed coastal cities to the northwest and southwest mountainous areas to participate in industrial construction, take root in the land, get married, grow up, and leave behind love and hatred. And all these things are mixed in today’s ruins, and become an indelible memory. Architecture is apathetic. However, because it carries human growth and stories, the emotional value it brings can cover the old texture and become a “new” history.


“What we hope to create is a container of time that can connect to the past and point to the future. Here, the future is not just a number, and memories are not just disordered fragments. We piece memories and aspirations for a better life together as a vague whole and slowly verified. In this fast-paced urban life, this place is like a small post station, the surrounding reality is drawn away. Time seems to slow down, and space can encourage us to think freely: How do we live in the future days?” said Peng Zheng, the design director.


On the basis of the original plant building, the project carried out architectural repairs. The objects and machinery of the bearing plant, and even the old trees in the factory area were preserved as an index of memory. High-tech and futuristic products are added to introduce cultural creativity,such as book bars, cafe, groceries and other gathering-style commercial facilities, creating an immersive cultural and creative demonstration park, made Guiyang as the first industrial cultural and creative model.


C&C Design is involved in the renovation of the entire project from the perspective of interior design. The truss structure and steel frame of the original ceiling are completely preserved, while part of the wall is preserved. Through the interspersed of different materials and blocks, the construction is formed to complete the planning of functions and circulation in the internal space. Red bricks with the original architectural texture are also used in these constructions to form internal and external meaning links.


时间的连线 Connection of Time


Between the original buildings of 3# and 4# plants , there is a claustrophobic narrow space, towering and strong, the design is made of pure white blanks, and only the change of light flow forms the only decoration of the narrow space.


The pontoon-like landscape corridor, the waves reflected by the water feature, the “time tunnel” extended to the internal space and the huge immersive projection, after creating a dazzling “future”,ushered in a heavy sense of history——“ “Memory Museum”—the objects and stories that once existed in this space are covered with white lacquer and are quietly displayed in the “memory” built of red bricks.


In addition, these obsolete old objects are also re-participated in today‘s stories as space installations, scattered at the junction of the flow of sight, providing space with metaphors from the past.

场景的界面 Interface of Scene


In addition to the memory of space and the perception of form, what is more important is that new functions and scenes need to occur and intervene.


Based on the attempt and positioning of the “cultural landmark” of the project, the Midea Real Estate team introduced Happy Twirl Bookstore and LEV Cafe, and planned a childhood dream factory for kids. In such a space, how to reconstruct the functions and movement lines of different scenes has become a design problem.


In order to be suitable for future commercial use, in the original high-rise factory building, we built a new field in the space by building vertical or flowing walls. These facades have the undulations of the existing materials and also formed the space. The “height difference” relationship between the buildings is like the unevenness of the buildings—then, we connect more “buildings” through corridors, stairs, steps, etc.. And under this new connection system, Different functions of each area are can be properly placed.Space changes and viewers can stay, wait and see.

新旧的并置 Juxtaposition of the New and the Old


Regarding the memory of the old space, we intervene in the form of materials or objects from time to time. For example, the device in the center of the book bar comes from the discarded machinery of the original factory. In the cafe, we also split and reorganize the old equipment and combine it with acrylic to make art installations. The materials and forms of the children’s play area imply the imprint of the industrial age.


As for the selection of materials for the “buildings” that form the spatial interface, we also use the dialogue and contrast between the new and the old to create the tension of the space. The new volume is reflected in pure white and native wood color. And the old wall retains the original traces. New materials with grayscale are added for blending. The new implantation and the old retention form a juxtaposition of new and old elements.


As a former plant building, the production function of Guiyang Bearing Plant has faded in the urban process. What has happened here is no longer concerned by people. Instead, as a ruined plant building, its construction logic suddenly becomes a wild power in today’s cities because of the tool rationality behind it.


The concept of renewal and authenticity to protect or renovate industrial heritage always seems to be in contradiction. In fact, “authenticity” is irreproducible under the condition of architecture that is separated from its original era and social background– the renovate and protection of industrial heritage should be based on the continuation and protection of its historical value and cultural significance and obtain new value and meaning in the new era and social background. As Carlo Scarpa said, history always follows and is created in the reality of constantly struggling with the present to move towards the future-this is also the starting point and end point of all the designs of Guiyang Midea Wisdom Community, following up yesterday and blessing for the future.

















Project Information——

Project Name: Guiyang Midea · Wisdom Community

Design Director: Peng Zheng

Main Designer: Lian Yuanchao, Chen Yongxia

Design Team: Liang Jingshan, Ye Kang, Zhu Guoguang, Mo Weihe, Cai Wenzhen

Project Management: Li Yonghua

Interior Design: C&C DESIGN CO.,LTD.

Decoration & Furnishings Design: C&C DESIGN CO.,LTD.

Client: Midea Real Estate Holding Limited

Client Group: Guo Minghua, He Binyi, Liu Yin, Li Guipeng, Zhao Haiyang

Location:Guiyang, Guizhou

Design Area: 4790M2

Design Date: August 2019

Completion Date: July 2020

Architectural Design: Zhantao Studio of XAA Architecture Firm

Landscape Design: Guangzhou WEDO Landscape Design Co., Ltd.