Shanghai-based studio Team BLDG has turned the bathhouse of a former aluminium factory in Xiamen City, China into an art gallery and studio called The Field for an artist who creates Buddha statues.
Following discussions with the client, TEAM_BLDG resolved to create a ‘hidden and even invisible architecture’. The form of the old building is still visible but a lot of the windows on the main façades have been blocked up, resulting in a solid, monolithic appearance. To the east side of one volume there is a large magnolia tree that guides visitors inside and connects the stacked volumes. The elevations are painted with the same sandalwood yellow as the interior, and the special texture of the wall was hand-painted by the workers.
"To make the architecture hidden in the colourful and noisy creative office park district, and make the boundaries between the outside and inside disappear, we tried to simplify the exterior." — TEAM_BLDG
The magnolia tree was preserved throughout the design and construction process, and it now serves as a landmark for the entire project. The tree is like a ‘dharma-vessel’ of the project. In one corner of the main exhibition hall, a spiral staircase leads upwards to a roof terrace, where the magnolia tree is close enough to touch, and the fragrance of leaves and flowers welcomes you.