The Multifunction Hall in CAFA

On the occasion of 100th Anniversary of the Central Academy of Arts (CAFA) in 2018, one of the highlighted renovations was transforming the school history museum into a multifunction hall, which is one of the largest single-storey spaces at the center of the architectural complex. The multifunction hall is now used for art exhibition and activities such as conferences and performances.

The renovation concept is a “space sketch”—on the basis of existing spatial relation, the designers used concise forms and materials to paint the indoor interfaces, meeting the needs for a ritual and flexible gathering place inside the campus.

Black, white and grey materials are used to change the spatial sequence gradually. The front hall is designed as a grey box, that its walls, ceilings and floors are covered with grey granites. Through the floor-to-ceiling glass doors at the entrance, the indoor and outdoor materials are connected. The revolving doors in the middle are covered with black
mirror steels, reflecting the natural landscape outside. At the end of the front hall, the doors separate the front and inner hall, which reduces external interferences. Mirror walls are added in the hall to create visual changes.

The inner hall is designed as a white box. Acoustic panels are integrated into a pure white background. The original fixed stage was removed and replaced with a mobile stage so that the entire hall could be used as a flexible display space.

Under the constraint of limited reconstruction, adjustable lighting can maximise the versatility of space. Intelligent-control lighting is installed under the ceiling which can be adjusted according to different functions. When the hall is used for exhibitions, the lighting tracks can be lowered so that the lights can be adjusted according to the position of
the display partitions; when the hall is used for performances and conferences, the dynamic change of lights can create specific atmospheres.

The backstage area is mainly used for storing furniture. One part of the area is transformed into a VIP lounge.

Under this renovation, most equipment is hidden within the interfaces to present a concise spatial view. When the hall recedes into a silent background, campus activities will be highlighted.

Project Name: Renovation of the Multi-Function Hall in CAFA
Location: Central Academy of Fine Arts, China
Completion Date: January 2018
Site Area: 1,400 square metres
Interior Design Firm: Architecture School of CAFA, ARCHSTUDIO
Principal Designer: Han Wenqiang; Zhao Yang
Images: Jin Weiqi