High speed
Today, in the city of Beijing, many buildings are built and demolished simultaneously. This is a small single story office that we have rent by ourselves and renovated in 2003. Because the national basketball stadium for Olympic Games was constructed near here in 2005, this office was demolished with the other surrounding buildings. The process of construction and demolishment occurs very quickly in Beijing. It took for only 3 months from deciding a construction company, beginning its construction, and to completing the project. Once authorities have decided to demolish this district, buildings were marked with the warning signs of the demolishment, and in 3 months later the demolition has finished. This high speed metabolism of buildings is going on now in Beijing and it will continue for a while in the future.

Interior space
This building is facing on a courtyard which is located on one street back from a main axial road in Beijing. This two-span, single story building in Nagaya style was remodeled into an office space of approximately 7m wide square. By placing multiple L-shape bookshelves within the height of the wooden frames in the tall ceiling area, the density of the bookshelves can be adjusted. The wooden frames of those shelves are installed as folded on the plan view, and the square interior space is softly divided in 3 parts. Furthermore, the front and back sides of the shelves are not covered, so that the shelves look like transparent partitions when books are not installed. The more books are installed on the shelves, the less transparent they look.

Here in Beijing, the new buildings, that were built from 1980s to 90s and before the acceleration of the city development, are getting old very quickly because of the poor construction skills at the time. Even 20 years old buildings look as if it has existed since decades ago. Although there are many new buildings in Beijing today, there are also too many buildings that is new but looks very old. Therefore, architects in Beijing will be working on many renovation projects in the future.

Project name
Liuliqiao office
Beijing Matsubara and Architects
Beijing, China
Total floor area:
44 sq. m.
Design period:
Dec. 2002 - Jan. 2003
Construction period:
Feb. 2003 - Apr. 2003
Li Qiyun
Cao Yang