Beijing Yango Hygge·Art and Lifestyle Center 

Flowing Pixel Scenery



Scope of services:Interior design 

Project aress:China  Beijing

Project area:1200㎡ 

Project time:2021 









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"I saw mountains as mountains and rivers as rivers. Then I saw mountains not as mountains and rivers not as rivers. Now I see mountains once again as mountains and rivers once again as rivers."

— Zen Master Qingyuan Weixin (Song dynasty)


Xiwengzhuang, located eighty kilometers north from downtown Beijing, is a beautiful town endowed with unrivaled natural resources and abundant mountains and rivers. Sitting among Mts. Yan, Yunmeng and Yunfo's embrace, the town straddles Bai and Chao Rivers. It is adjacent to Miyun Reservoir and falls within the eponymous ecological conservation area, completely surrounded by vast wetlands. The Hygge·Art and Lifestyle Center, seven stories and two dozen meters high, serves as a permanent activity center for Yango property owners and promises a panoramic view full of the region's lush slopes and clear streams.


When working on this project's conceptualization, designers Yi Chen and Muchen Zhang decided to create a spatial environment where visitors would not only feel a sense of tranquility due to being immersed in nature, but also find a warm harbor to put their hearts and minds at ease. Innumerable, unexpected surprises are simply waiting to be discovered. Anyone stepping into this spatial environment is offered the opportunity to explore the tranquility that nature has to offer, to experience authentic mountainside living firsthand and to pursue an art-filled life hidden deep within the ridges and valleys.


The spatial environment can serve as a library, a community space, a tea house, a guest facilities of a picturesque mountain dwelling and a stargazing terrace. Here, you may find your mind wandering the pages of a book, exchanging in intimate talks with friends or pursuing poetic inspiration. This aesthetic mountain abode is always ready for the fluttering of the heart. The designers aims to use the interior furnishing to bring in the natural allure generated by the region’s unique landscape, allowing any and all visitors to experience the picturesque scenery indoors.


Harnessing the advantages of this very landscape, the two designers decorated the entire interior with deconstructed mountain imagery and created a "cultural landscape space" with strong contemporary artistic features. Extracting the modeling language from the objects in nature by means of deconstruction, they refined a unique shaping language, which they then used to create a modern Zen realm — a place where one sees mountains as mountains and rivers as rivers before perceiving mountains not as mountains and rivers not as rivers. The library is the best demonstration of this design language.


The designers took their inspiration from Minecraft, the famous sandbox video game. The designers play with block-like cubes to create most of the objects in the space, inviting visitors to a randomly generated 3D environment. The rising, falling, twisting and turning of these cubes create a unique aesthetic experience of wandering leisurely within a mountain cave.


The pixel-like landscape formed by random combinations of cubes visually connects with the natural scenery outside the building. Mountains and rivers extend into the structure in such a seamless way that the whole process creates unique combinations and incites distinct feelings. Upon encountering this, visitors are set free from their real-world and become fully embraced by a conscious, abstract, geometric and humanized space. They feel the changes of space and time, capture the subtle differences between internal and external feelings and finally become able to reestablish and expand upon a completely new, spatial experience from a more psychological perspective. The combination, construction and derivation of pixel blocks all take place in a three-dimensional grid of cubes. They reflect the free-flowing creativity and burst of inspiration of the designers.


As emphasized in traditional Chinese landscape paintings, "A painting reflects its painter's mind." Far from merely representing the natural mountains and rivers, painters transform objects with their intent, immerse themselves in nature and then channel their vitality and sentiments as gained throughout such a process. "The universe is my mind, and my mind is the universe," stated Lu Jiuyuan (Song dynasty). The sunken and floating cubes create a virtual rolling of mountains, able to echo the rippling ranges outside as well as the twists and turns of one's spiritual and sentimental experiences. These three aspects, virtual or otherwise, are both there and intangible, far out but close by, seemingly identical yet markedly different.


The mountains and rivers here are formed by the whims of one's own imagination. The art and lifestyle center was constructed using timber, a warm and earthy material to the hearts. Straddling the real and imaginary, this sloping and flowing public space serves as a vessel for memories —   containing the ever variable light, the ceaseless passing of seasons and the beauty, sincerity and purity of our minds as bestowed by our almighty creator.