“Warehouse Within a Warehouse” Media Center / Ray&Emilio Studio

Architects: Ray&Emilio Studio
Area: 600 m²
Year: 2023
Photography: Zhou Fang
Lead Architect: Runwu Fang, Minghao Wang
Design Team: Runwu Fang, Minghao Wang, Zhichao Ma, Dawei Xu, Jianchao Li, Chengxun Wu, Shubo Li, Fengwen Zheng
Construction: Baigu Construction Group
Clients: Bole Industrial Design
City: Hangzhou
Country: China

The “Warehouse within a Warehouse” Media Center, a renovated industrial space designed by Ray&Emilio Studio in Mantoushan, Hangzhou, China, serves as an exhibition hall and media release center for Bo Le Design, an influential industrial design company. Completed in 2023, the center enhances the existing structure’s historical character while introducing new architectural elements to facilitate various functions, such as product showcases, art exhibitions, and educational sessions.

“warehouse within a warehouse” media center / ray&emilio studio

The “Warehouse within a Warehouse” Media Center is a renovation of an older industrial building in Mantoushan, an old city area of Hangzhou. This project transforms the abandoned No. 18 military supply warehouse into an exhibition hall for industrial design products and a media release center. The initiative, led by the influential Bo Le Design, aims to accommodate functions such as showcasing innovative products, hosting art exhibitions, launching seasonal products, and providing space for artistic lectures.

Upon entering the renovated space, one is immediately struck by the sloping roof supported by wooden structures, which feature direct and efficient triangular connections, creating intersecting relationships throughout. Previously, the warehouse was upgraded with a glass roof along its ridge to allow for ample natural light. The project’s goal is to maintain the historical significance of the space as a former military warehouse while highlighting the transformations it has undergone. This is achieved by exploring the original spatial charm and enhancing the wooden structures’ inherent strength, coupled with the strategic use of natural light from skylights to create a unique interior perfectly suited for its new roles.

The project’s name, “Warehouse within a Warehouse,” reflects a deep interest in the concept of layered structures, where the top part denotes structure and the middle signifies entrance. Unlike traditional residential buildings where entries are not made through gable walls, this design allows for such access, drawing a parallel to the vertical depth found in Western basilicas, which is directly formed by structural components.

The vision for this renovation was to emulate elements of Brazilian Basilica architecture, thereby strengthening characteristics typical of warehousing spaces such as the enhanced perception of depth through techniques that emphasize layered dimensions. This approach extends beyond mere storage, positioning the spaces as showcases for the intrinsic qualities of industrial products, regarded as “objects” with inherent value. This value is accentuated by imbuing these objects with a soul, a process that mirrors the creation of the space itself—a construction that uncovers and enhances the original spatial value.

The dynamic relationship between the new and old warehouse structures is not just about containment but involves an intricate interplay. The new structure extends, including its rooflines, to encapsulate intersections with the old, framing the structural complexity and enhancing visitors’ perception of the space. This interaction is further enriched by the use of skylights and artificial lighting, which together create layers of light and shadow that guide the visitor’s experience through both deliberate and unexpected visual cues.

The layout, including a three-dimensional roadshow theater aligned with the roof’s slope, enhances the functional aspect of the space, allowing for an immersive experience during product launches. This setup utilizes the physical variations brought about by the roof and emphasizes the functional, cavity spaces, and other critical aspects of the structure, ensuring that the visitors’ journey through the space is dynamic and enlightening.

“warehouse within a warehouse” media center / ray&emilio studio
Project Gallery
Project Location

Address: Feng Huang Shan Jiao Lu, Shang Cheng Qu, Hang Zhou Shi, Zhe Jiang Sheng, China

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