Vase House, the experience of dancing

Vase House is a project created by archIStry design&research office in the Haidian district of Beijing: a place for teaching and practising dance that takes the form of an indoor space where artists can experiment with body movements.
A “soft” and engaging project in an intimate space.

To express this concept, the geometry of the circle has been used consistently, and through the different combinations of this basic shape, the rooms dedicated to the different functions have been created: hall, changing room, rehearsal room, classroom, corridor, etc.

In plan, a series of “circles” expresses the circulation space, creating successive alcoves from which the spectator can enjoy the privileged view towards the “performance” room, creating areas of conviviality and rest.
In fact, in dance teaching, this type of “involvement” naturally promotes students’ motivation and enthusiasm.
Practices performed in the rehearsal room, but visible from outside, become an integral part of learning. The spectators are the same students who wait in the ‘private corridor’ for their course of study and at the same time participate visually in the other lessons. This interaction between performance and spectators promotes a vivid participation in the teaching and makes this process quite interesting. In order to make this “symbol of the image” more impressive, the interior undergoes architectural transformations: vertical lines are adopted in the interior façade, reminiscent of a curtain deployed in classical theatre.
The architectural details emphasise the feeling of being immersed in spaces where the creation of body art and the progress of training are a predominant part, each individual design element ritualising this concept.
Vertical planks are used as small walls or supporting walls; outside the changing room, vertical partitions are used as a dividing wall; installed between the classroom and the training room, an alternation of transparent and frosted glass is used as a means of facilitating visual angles. This alternation of transparent and semi-transparent makes “seeing and being seen” more friendly and implicit, making everyone participate in this visual spectacle.

The designers have succeeded in combining simplicity and a small area with a wide variety of spaces and visual angles, through just vertical lines and the creation of multiple points of “observation”.

This project is not a traditional interior design, but an experimental indoor device that is researched, interpreted, complete and unified in its conception.
In the competitive context of corporate marketing, it was necessary to create a space as a “large device” capable of providing a unique and vivid experience.


PROJECT Vase House
ARCHITECTS archIStry design&research office
LOCATION Haidian District, Beijing, China
YEAR 2019
PHOTO Wenqiao Zhu