Dalian 37 Xiang: A Beacon of Urban Renewal

United Units Architects Transform Abandoned Factory into a Cultural and Creative Park

United Units Architects have breathed new life into an abandoned factory in Dalian, China, transforming it into a vibrant cultural and creative park. The project, named Dalian 37 Xiang, is a testament to the power of urban renewal and architectural innovation.

The design of Dalian 37 Xiang was inspired by the unique geographical features of Dalian, a city known for its mountains and seas. The architects abstracted the form of waves and sails to create a new architectural image that resonates with the spirit of the city. The result is a building that establishes a spiritual connection between the structure and its inhabitants, offering a new visual imagination of what a city can be.

Located halfway up a mountainside and overlooking the harbor, Dalian 37 Xiang stands as a beacon of urban renewal. The design objective was to transform the old factory into a regional landmark, accommodating multiple business types and creating an open and dynamic city node. The building now houses rental offices, a radio museum, coffee shop, bookshop, communal space, tea shop, fashion shop, art education center, and a restaurant, emphasizing the theme of "fusion space".

The renovation strategy began with the establishment of a new facade grid, formed according to the building levels of the floors, roof, and parapet. The vertical lines of the facade grid are spaced 1.2 meters apart, conforming to the specifications of conventional building materials and forming a multiple relationship with the building's structural grid. This new facade system was superimposed on the old structural order, creating a contrast between the old and the new.

The project presented several challenges, including how to create continuity before and after the renovation while liberating the building from its original monotonous form. The solution was to create a more free and romantic form, a key point of the architects' thinking. The result is a building that not only resonates emotionally with the surrounding residents but also serves as a regional landmark facing the future.

Dalian 37 Xiang was awarded the Golden A' Architecture, Building, and Structure Design Award in 2023. This prestigious award is granted to marvelous, outstanding, and trendsetting creations that reflect the designer's prodigy and wisdom. They are venerated products and bright ideas that advance art, science, design, and technology, embodying extraordinary excellence and significantly impacting the world with their desirable characteristics.

Project Details and Credits

Project Designers: United Units Architects (UUA)
Image Credits: Image #1: Photographer Weiqi Jin, Night, 2022. Image #2: Photographer Weiqi Jin, Day, 2022. Image #3: Photographer Weiqi Jin, Terrace, 2022. Image #4: Photographer Weiqi Jin, Sails, 2022. Image #5: Photographer Weiqi Jin, Details, 2022. Video Credits: Shiming Xiao + Weiqi Jin, 2022.
Project Team Members: Yongzheng Li Qizhi Li Liang Deng Wenbo He Teng Jiang Xinghua Ma Hongbo Fang Yanfeng Lyu Huanyu Chen Jiaxin Zhang Yuxin Jin
Project Name: Dalian 37 Xiang
Project Client: United Units Architects (UUA)

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