Project Name: Post War Apartment T101
Practice: ROOI Design & Research
Firm Location: Beijing
Completion year: 2020
Gross Built up Area: 50 sqm
Project Location: Beijing
Project Manager: Jiaji Shen
Others: Chief Designer: Zuoqian Wang, Dan He
Photo Credits: Weiqi JinMore Specs
Excerpt: Post War Apartment T101 is a residence designed by the firm ROOI Design and Research. The designers removed all unnecessary elements, demolished the old wall in the middle, and broke the old grid pattern. As a result, they could design an apartment that served multiple functions within a relatively small space. They created an area intended for receiving guests, working from home, reading, or even practising an indoor sports activity, which can be truly useful during these pandemic times.
(“Text as submitted by the Architects”)
Chinese homes have changed dramatically in size, scope, and design in the past few decades. Designed by ROOI Design and Research, Apartment T101 is one example of an outstanding Chinese renovation project.
Initially designed to be a family dormitory for a research institution, the architectural style of the building is a typical brick-concrete structure with an interior space of 50 square meters per household. The interior spaces share the same layout, dictated by the conditions at that time. China was still recovering from years of conflict and faced an influx of people coming to cities. There was no living room, no dining room, or shower in each household. This type of layout represents the standard post-war Chinese apartment.
Built in the 1950s, this three-story post-war building witnessed history and was set to decline inevitably. In this case, the facility failed to adapt to the new nearby era despite its favourable price advantage. Therefore, this project’s core was to find a way to adjust the old collective residence to modern city life and retain its previous structure, recovering the degraded green areas.
Therefore, the architect had to create a pattern with a bedroom, a living room, a dining room, and a toilet to make the apartment more private, functional, and livable. As for Beijing, the cost of tearing down old buildings is prohibitive. Therefore, the architect and owners agreed that upgrading might be an ideal solution. So, they experimented with creative ideas and chose to renovate one household within the building.
The architect believes that diversification and personalization are the future for small apartments in the city. Otherwise, everything will exist in a neutral and lifeless form. Therefore, he first removed all unnecessary elements, demolished the old wall in the middle, and broke the old grid pattern. As a result, he could design an apartment that served multiple functions within a relatively small space.
He created an area intended for receiving guests, working from home, reading, or even practising an indoor sports activity, which can be truly useful during these pandemic times. The north-oriented wooden room is a reception tea room and a temporary guest room. It contrasts with the dominant white tone and adds warmth to the house. Above the wooden enclosure, we can find a large storage facility for outdoor sports equipment and other bulky stuff.
This project is a small corner of the vast Chinese interior renovation industry. China’s apartments and residential interior decoration are more flexible than Western ones. This led to The ROOI Design and Research firm proving that Chinese homes were as diverse as possible.