In China, the Jinxing Miners’ Canteen is Renovated by Aurelien Chen

The main hall at the renovated Jinxing Miners Canteen

Just a several short many years in the past, the Jinxing Miners’ Canteen was in a point out of disrepair: The ceiling had all but collapsed, the wooden was rotting and the full detail wanted far extra than a refreshing coat of paint. Its restoration was the excellent obstacle for French architect Aurelien Chen, who specializes in cultural and renovation jobs.

Initially built in the 1970s, the canteen (and the adjacent workplaces designed by German architects in 1912) at the time served a group of coal miners. The new iteration by Chen is a lively cultural area, entire with a literary café, library, exhibition areas, bar, cafe and theatre.

Exterior view of the newly renovated canteen by Aurelien Chen

Nevertheless the building was in poor ailment, it had excellent bones: Its characteristic “Red Era” design served as the commencing point for Chen’s redesign. The interior also highlighted regular elements of Western architecture in China, including a flower-shaped ceiling rose whose kind drove the structure of the primary corridor. But the correct pièces de resistance are the arched doorways and vaulted basement, which have been uncovered in the course of the building stage.

Jinxing Miners’ Canteen prior to renovation

The colors, components and home furnishings of the “Red Era” have been reinterpreted to modernize the inside. In the primary corridor, a flora-influenced installation requires centre stage less than the gabled wooden roof. The multifunctional room can be employed as an information and facts desk, exhibition area, relaxation area, stage or for roundtable discussion. The surrounding furnishings choose soon after the centrepiece’s organic and natural type, influenced by the present gentle fixtures’ concentric circles with built-in bookshelves to minimize litter in the open up notion room.

The main hall at Jinxing Miners Canteen by Aurelien Chen

Expertly marrying existing and new features, the bar is divided from the principal corridor by a black metal mesh folding display screen. The building’s concrete partitions, painted with slogans from the “Red Era” in Chinese characters, assistance the bar, which repurposes the canteen counter from the original creating. The graphic black and white checker-patterned tile ground nods to the space’s initial finishes, when vivid eco-friendly counter stools and a partition wall manufactured of crimson and yellow perforated steel panels add a pop of colour.

Jinxing Miners’ Canteen prior to renovation
The bar space at the Jinxing Miners' Canteen by Aurelien Chen
The bar space at the Jinxing Miners' Canteen by Aurelien Chen

On the other side of the partition, the cafe strikes an totally distinctive tone. In this article, wealthy hues of navy and brass impart a luxurious come to feel, though the dimpled metallic ceiling bounces mild all around the area. To additional emphasize the archways identified in the building stage, Chen mimicked these forms in the restaurant’s booth alcoves, also designed of black metallic mesh.

The restaurant space at the Jinxing Miners' Canteen by Aurelien Chen

Down below, a lower out in the checkered flooring, coated with glass, makes it possible for website visitors to peer down the primary staircase into the basement, visually linking the two degrees. In this space, Chen selected the path of nominal intervention, embracing the historic vaulted composition to generate cozy examining nooks and exhibition areas.

Vaulted basement featuring reading nooks by Aurelien Chen
Vaulted basement featuring reading nooks by Aurelien Chen

An arched Corten metal volume on the façade now is made up of the new staircase, whilst blue metallic ornaments have been additional to the other openings to unify the developing with its historic neighbours. Initiated by the local government’s Sustainable Enhancement Method, the Jinxing Miners’ Canteen renovation varieties part of the Urban and Rural Planning and Style and design Institute of CSCEC’s new grasp plan for the internet site. Provided just just one 12 months to style and design and total the project, Chen’s sensitive — and efficient — redesign presents a window into the earlier, whilst developing a area that serves the neighborhood in the present.

Exterior view of the renovated canteen building by Aurelien Chen
Blue ornamented windows at Jinxing Miners Canteen by Aurelien Chen

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