A Woodwork Enthusiast's

A physically static home that evokes a complete sense of calm

16 March 2020

Situated in the port city of Xiamen, A Woodwork Enthusiast's Home has been created within the site of an abandoned cement factory, to be a "physically static place" that evokes a complete sense of calm.

"Home is the most intimate place for us, which needn't carry the complex expectations from the outside world," said ZMY Design studio. "It provides a tranquil environment that liberates both the body and mind, and a place to let emotions take root."

ZMY Design has transformed a cement factory in southeast China into a tranquil home, dotting its cavernous living spaces with a minimal number of furnishings.

The project entailed the renovation of an existing three-story building by retaining the original cylindrical structure and adding only simple, natural materials, the result is a tranquil and intimate place for the designer themselves to enjoy.

Having been abandoned for several years, the building was filled with debris and largely inhospitable, but has now been completely gutted to accommodate a handful of cavernous living spaces.

One of the volumes plays host to a dramatic sitting room. Walls have been coated with a pale-grey powder that's meant to evoke the "austere character" of residences seen in ancient Chinese villages. The original concrete ceiling has been preserved, while oakwood floorboards have been installed throughout.

A single window frames a view of the surrounding landscape - the other two windows in the room are fronted by floor-to-ceiling pillars that cast shifting beams of light over the course the day.

Inhabitants can alternatively head up to the home's outdoor terrace for unspoiled vistas of Xiamen. Just a smattering of furnishings has been used to dress the space. At its center is a slate-grey leather sofa, joined by an armchair, beanbag and coffee table.

There are also a couple of bulbous pots planted with spindly trees. A short, elevated walkway that's anchored by two chunky timber benches leads to the rear cylindrical volume. This contains the kitchen, which has a simple wooden dining table and a long, white breakfast island.


Photo: Wu Yongchang