30 Apr 2020 • Institutions
This factory-turned-photography-studio in Beijing is a new kind of social space
Masquerade was completed before the COVID-19 crisis. Access to the photo studio may be affected by the pandemic.
123 Architects have turned a former factory in Beijing into a surreal, futuristic-looking interior comprised of curved arches and pastel tones. The 480-sq-m, two-storey space is now Masquerade, a photo studio. The opening supports the rising prominence of places for professional photography in China, while updating the popular offer by incorporating social ‘VIP’ spaces.
The studio is located in the 798 Art Zone, a former industrial neighbourhood that’s been transformed into a cultural hotspot. Its decommissioned military buildings, rich in cultural and architectural history, have been repurposed into exhibition spaces, bookstores, cinemas, restaurants and other places for photo and movie production.
Referencing the existing structural framework, Masquerade’s façade was remodelled into a swooping brick screen, refinished in silver paint. Hidden within, the studio’s sleek, contemporary interiors create quite the visual juxtaposition. The peach walls of its entrance hall are vaulted, tilting together to form a domed space. Past the lobby is a double-height white-scheme photography area. A curtain divider allows users to merge this space with the adjacent lobby if desired.
On the second floor live the studio’s amenity spaces. One such area is a ‘dining room’ that evokes the feeling of being inside a gallery. Arched passages off one side lead to other novel spots including a lobby space, complete with curved leather sofas and a ceiling patterned in convex traffic mirrors, ‘intergalactic’ makeup room and a steel-clad bathroom. Overhead, not one but six disco balls reflect shards of light onto the curved wall.
Read about more innovative hospitality spaces here.