FX Awards 2017: The Winners

Mixed-Use Development

Winner: LAI Yard
by Minggu Design

Mixed-Use Development Winner - LAI Yard by Minggu DesignPhoto Credit: Xianwen Jin

Sponsored by Johnson Tiles

In the south of Nanjing, China, a historic and listed property has been restored. LAI Yard is named after Lai, meaning it is from far to here, from traditional to contemporary. Here modern architecture meets the traditional courtyard. The original design intention was to superimpose a disorganised order; it could provide space for meditation, or a schoolroom.

To the north of the original house, two-pseudo architectures have been built to create three enclosed courtyards where trees and buildings interweave.

The meditation area hangs over the base surface of the house, and interacts with the courtyard. Original columns and transparent material form an enclosed space.

The facade faces the courtyard and merges into the Chinese-garden style scenery. Two rooms, on left and right, contrast with the master room in the middle. Details include contrary elements, such as the old and the new, interior and exterior, light and dark, conventional and contemporary, and they become harmonious.

By blocking incoming light in the original building, the architect leaves only the south-east side to allow daylight penetration. The vague light becomes tangible and visible through internal and external roof structures and construction. Light and shade change angles from morning to evening, creating atmosphere.

The judges said

‘The overall design of the space to include internal courtyards and mixing the old with the new is particularly strong with this concept. The views the spaces create have a symmetry and simplicity that belies their complexity. A very beautiful and sensitively executed insertion of a contemporary space into an existing historic shell’

Finalists & judges' comments

Soho Wharf, Clink Street by 8Build and Spparc Architecture
‘A simple and well executed conversion that creates appealing working and living spaces’

Sales Center of Longfor Emerald Mansion by G-Art Desoign International Interior Architecture
‘This is plush but confident and unified with a singular tone running through’

Black Bull Yard by gpad London
‘A very clever use of space creating new uses from a Victorian building and adding value by integrating different uses. Modern and slick’

Shenzhen Icarbonx Lecture Hall by HCD Impression
‘A dramatic and intriguing set of spaces. New interventions work within spirit of building’

Kunming Royal Villa Academy by HCD Impression
‘This concept is surprising and delightful, from the startling block colours to the cathedral like-space’

The Revival Place by Purity Building Interior Design
‘A great refurbishment. Additional windows and open space provide an airy feel with enormous flexibility’

The Mailbox, Birmingham by Stanton Williams
‘An elegant reinvention of a utilitarian building. A visually striking refurbishment of a mall space’

Chapter Kings Cross by Tigg + Coll Architects
It conjures up a club environment. Boldly stripped back to original spirit. Layering gives richness. Refreshingly non-student’

Space of Consonance by Tongyu Space Design
‘Seductive series of spaces with what appear to be high-quality details’

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