When Chinese studio Atelier Alter was commissioned to build the an archive for stone in Beijing, it drew inspiration directly from the process of cutting stone. Renovating a former wine storage facility, the designers imagined a space defined by void and texture, creating a visually rich showcase for the potential of architectural stone itself.
The exterior features a perforated stone screen made of thousands of four-inch cubes of rock, twisted at different angles to the street. Large steel voids mark the entrance to the building, a lushly planted courtyard, and a window into the cafe.
A front door made of wildly angled steel strips gives onto a gallery of rough-hewn stone samples, contrasted with a glossy white floor. Dramatically angled forward into the double-height space, the wall of rough rocks on steel shelves appears on the brink of toppling over.
This entrance gallery leads into the main exhibition space—a paneled room with a zig-zagging stairway screened by floating strips of stone. The walls are lined with various stone samples. The stairway leads up to a library of smaller samples displayed on shelves. Stone lovers, rejoice!
The ground floor restaurant and cafe have a visually extraordinary floor made of inlaid stone, and polished stone furniture to match.
Via: World Architecture