The main hall at the renovated Jinxing Miners Canteen

Just a few shorter decades back, the Jinxing Miners’ Canteen was in a condition of disrepair: The ceiling had all but collapsed, the wood was rotting and the total issue necessary significantly far more than a fresh new coat of paint. Its restoration was the excellent problem for French architect Aurelien Chen, who specializes in cultural and renovation tasks.

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

Exterior view of the newly renovated canteen by Aurelien Chen

While the creating was in poor problem, it had great bones: Its attribute “Red Era” fashion served as the commencing stage for Chen’s redesign. The interior also featured common components of Western architecture in China, which includes a flower-shaped ceiling rose whose variety drove the design and style of the most important corridor. But the real pièces de resistance are the arched doorways and vaulted basement, which had been uncovered through the construction phase.

Jinxing Miners’ Canteen prior to renovation

The colors, resources and household furniture of the “Red Era” have been reinterpreted to modernize the inside. In the principal corridor, a flora-inspired installation normally takes centre stage below the gabled wood roof. The multifunctional room can be utilised as an info desk, exhibition space, relaxation location, phase or for roundtable discussion. The surrounding furnishings consider just after the centrepiece’s organic and natural kind, influenced by the existing light-weight fixtures’ concentric circles with integrated bookshelves to reduce muddle in the open up notion room.

The main hall at Jinxing Miners Canteen by Aurelien Chen

Expertly marrying existing and new aspects, the bar is divided from the key hall by a black steel mesh folding display. The building’s concrete partitions, painted with slogans from the “Red Era” in Chinese characters, support the bar, which repurposes the canteen counter from the unique creating. The graphic black and white checker-patterned tile floor nods to the space’s authentic finishes, while lively green counter stools and a partition wall created of pink and yellow perforated metallic panels add a pop of color.

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 restaurant strikes an fully diverse tone. Listed here, prosperous hues of navy and brass impart a high-class really feel, though the dimpled steel ceiling bounces light-weight about the space. To even further emphasize the archways discovered in the design stage, Chen mimicked these varieties in the restaurant’s booth alcoves, also created of black steel mesh.

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

Down below, a lower out in the checkered ground, lined with glass, enables visitors to peer down the authentic staircase into the basement, visually linking the two degrees. In this space, Chen chose the path of minimum intervention, embracing the historic vaulted construction to develop cozy reading through nooks and exhibition spaces.

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, while blue metal ornaments have been additional to the other openings to unify the building with its historic neighbours. Initiated by the neighborhood government’s Sustainable Enhancement Program, the Jinxing Miners’ Canteen renovation forms element of the Urban and Rural Setting up and Structure Institute of CSCEC’s new grasp plan for the website. Specified just a single calendar year to layout and comprehensive the project, Chen’s delicate — and efficient — redesign features a window into the past, although producing a area that serves the group 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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