xigo studio’s minimal apartment in beijing draws on the ‘atom’ to exude light and vitality

Flow is the source

XIGO STUDIO’s concept of Original Realm began with drawing on the basic forms in nature to inform the design of the space. The architects extending the physical model of the ‘atom’, abstracting its structural form and transforming it in space and plane to express the purity and nature of the space form through the material origin of the physical aspect.

all images by Li Ming

Site Analysis

The apartment is designed for a family of three, who required high living sanitation, efficient storage solutions, and a simple space form. XIGO STUDIO’s design aims to foster a harmonious relationship between human and space to create a sense of intimacy and a more mobile home. Dismantling the original structure which had well-regulated dynamic and static zones, the architects removed the kitchen wall partition, presenting the public area as a complete space structure that is transparent and open, opening up many design possibilities.

XIGO STUDIO rearranged the space of the public areas, reframed the structural relationships of different rooms, and endowed the originally single “box body” with a space sequence with progressive changes. Meanwhile, their space promoted function through form, and developed a sense of connectivity for a better, more rich living environment for the habitants.

Arc Screen Wall

The architects incorporate an arc screen wall, between the hallway and dining room, with two moving lines that ‘move in the direction of light’. The entrance on the left leads to the main moving line which connects the whole space, while the moving line on the right is connected with the open kitchen and leads to another opening. Between the two moving lines, a third back-and-forth moving line is formed around the dining area behind the screen wall, which endows the space with openness. The shielding function of the arc screen wall ensures the privacy of the internal space, while also foreshadowing the subsequent space functions. Between the screen wall and the entrance door, a small distance dislocation is formed to introduce light. In the hallway area, a space with very strong storage function is designed.

Revolving Dining Room

Through the clear division of gamut boundaries and the construction of color lump and structure, XIGO STUDIO boldly abstracts and summarizes the space form. A streamline extends from the window to the interior, rotating around the dining room; Together with the streamline ceiling of the bar space in the living room, this makes the space more active, and adds an intense, dynamic rhythm. In the minimal form, the functional content is retained. The application of cool colors and integration of geometric shapes jointly endow the dining room with a visual sense of art exhibition hall. Accordingly, the white tables, chairs, lamps and lanterns become the art collections in the “exhibition hall”, and echo with the environment in form and color.

Seeing from the living room, we can find that the streamline starting from the horizon embeds and overlays with the horizontal frame line. The adequate storage wall and sideboard cabinets solve the storage problem for the whole family. The three vintage chairs in the scene have certain collection value.

Center Stage

The designers integrated the bar counter with the piano area as the center stage, and arranged the overall space around the stage. as the core that drives the space form to produce streamline motion, The stage is like the “nucleus” of the space, connecting with each functional area and forming the core visual focus. The four functional zones: entrance porch, dining room, stage and living room are arranged in sequence along the direction of the light source from the north side. The influence of light is gradually strengthened and weakened in the transition of the four spatial levels, creating a progressive spatial rhythm from the entrance to the interior of the apartment. Streamline forms intersect in the central space.

Dynamic Living Room

The streamlined drop ceiling extends from the balcony to the corridor. The color distinction of gray and white emphasizes the form track of the streamline. At the same time, the plane’s color partition extends to the three-dimensional space segmentation. The color gamut’s shape division of the floor echoes with the color form of the ceiling. Meanwhile, the gray structure formed correspondingly extends to the internal corridor. Looking towards the living room when standing at the end, habitants can find that the continuous streamlined drop ceiling outlines the frame of the space picture. The gray drop ceiling extends to the entrance of the corridor on the side, leading the space’s kinetic potential to the interior of the apartment.

Apart from the space’s form construction, the use of furniture items is kept to a minimum. TACTILE banana boat sofa designed by Italian designer Vincenzo De Cotiis for Baxter in 2014 is adopted. The sofa is in harmony and unified with the space through its streamlines’ hugging shape and ductility. The whole TV wall is designed with a storage system that starts from the ground, which provides a maximum storage space, making the space more neat.

Introducing Light into the Apartment Interior

The participation of light is a prerequisite for space to be presented in our vision in the form of “space”. The designers hope the natural light can penetrate into every corner of the space as much as possible. The gray drop ceiling painted with latex paint, and floor decoration extend to the end of the corridor. The light belts that surround three sides create a sense of future like the sci-fi tunnel.

The original corridor, as the transitional space for public and private areas, is wrapped in the center of the whole space structure, which appears closed and narrow. XIGO STUDIO exchanged the location of the original study with the secondary bedroom to create a more convenient viewport so that the natural light from the north side can be introduced into the corridor and then to the master bathroom on the south side. The entrance of the master bedroom is designed opposite to that of the corridor so that the corridor can receive natural light from the third direction when the bedroom door opens in the daytime.

Meanwhile, the designers expanded the width of the corridor leading to the study. Ultra white glass is used as the partition between the study and corridor, ensuring the transparency. The guest bathroom was divided into two areas: namely closestool cubicle and shower cubicle. The two areas are arranged arranged on the both sides of the corridor. Accordingly, this design helps to realize dry and wet separation in the guest bathroom. The opening and closing of venetian blind can flexibly change the state of the study according to the need for use. Besides, the flexible function of venetian blind also can endow the corridor with rich light and shadow change, and effectively ensure the privacy of the study at the same time.

Independent Space + storage

The architects design an independent space with plenty of storage in the secondary bedroom, to store her collectable objects of the clients daughter. Three sets of lockers with glass doors are installed at intervals in the secondary bedroom, which enriches the space and create a sense of breathability with the lightweight glass.

The multifunctional independent space is designed for both sleeping and living. Gray and blue structures define the functional division of learning and game, and zones are arranged orderly, color gamuts are differentiated from each other, and forms are related to each other. The bed is connected to the bay window, forming an overall rest area, and nestling a discreet storage cabinet.

In the master bedroom, gray wood floor is used for the paving and the whole room is relatively neat and simple. To solve the storage problem, XIGO STUDIO designed a walk-in cloakroom installed with an orbital stealth door with a hidden track, achieving the effect of minimal suspension. Inside, a powerful open storage system organizes their clothes.

Exquisite Bathroom

Dry and wet separation is realized in the bathroom. In the dry area, wall-mounted closestool and artificial stone basin are installed, achieving a high-efficiency of seamlessness. Windows are designed both in the dry area and wet area of ​​the master bathroom. The windows, together with the Changhong oil sand glass provide the bathroom with sufficient daylight. Meanwhile the materials used present a hazy ambiguous aesthetic feeling.

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project info:

name: Origin Realm
designer: XIGO STUDIO

location: Haidian District, Beijing City, China

area: 188 sqm

chief designers: Liu Yang, Zhang Yixin

scheme deepening design: Wang Dan

design period: July 2019 – June 2021

completion of construction: April 2022

academic advisor: Zhu Li

construction foreman: Zhu Xingui

materials: Gobbetto Resin, Jotun Paint, Delfone Rock Beam, and Enjoywood

floor furniture: BUCHUAN LIFE Kitchen & Armoire, Siloni Casa, Collectie Vintage Furniture

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