For many sites in real estate, a pool would be coveted, but not so apparently for this 129,000-square-foot building in the Chaoyang district of Beijing. The former leisure club featured a rather sizable lounging pool in its 50-foot-tall central atrium. But when the architects at MAT Office went to transform the building into a modern apartment building with a ground-floor coworking space, the water had to go. The pool though? That stayed.
The sunken space where bathers once reveled in a hot spring is now an open communal coworking room. MAT gave a cheeky nod to the site’s original function by covering the floor with a pool-like tile mosaic.
The edges of the pool are softened with wooden benches, platforms, and shelves which supply tiered seating and stairs. Planters for small trees and other greenery also dot the space, giving it an outdoorsy, public feel.
Above, three stories of apartments overlook the central space from large windows half-covered by perforated screens. The apartments themselves are small studios and one-bedrooms designed with built-in storage and tiled flooring.