Friends Academy is the first step of a major refurbishment project which aims to turn and merge a series of unused spaces on roof top of SOLANA mall in Beijing, previously occupied by technical and storage rooms, and turn them into a large indoor golf training and leisure center. The “reclaiming” operationwill stitch those spaces back into a single enjoyable space of approx 2000 m², in the attempt to revitalize the roof with functional attractions, services and gardens, and make it accessible to visitors.

design by: RAMOPRIMO
design team: Marcella Campa, Stefano Avesani, Zhao Xiny, Giacomo Squaquara, Du Huayu, WangWenWen, ZhangNan
location: Beijing, Solana
Function: Indoor Golf training center, Golf club
area: 2000 m²
client: Friends Academy
year: 2022

Friends Acadmey Golflab by RAMOPRIMO - Sheet3

The project, carried on by RAMOPRIMO architectural firm based and working in-between China and Italy, aims to transfer the experience of an open-air Golf course, where players walk in the natural landscape in-between greens, woods and sand pits, into an indoor and domestic environment, characterized by a mix of empty public spaces and functional areas that plays as a sequence of full and voids with different degrees of privacy. The ideas of sociality, sport and fun is expressed by the soft and smooth shapes of the layout, and combined with the concept of elegance and comfort. Public corridors lead visitors trough spaces with specific treatments on materials, surfaces and colours. Different surface treatments and uses of materials help defining the specific functions and orientate visitors to find their way as part of the internal signage. A custom-made texture of natural wooden strips are shaping the smooth curved edges for the main golf training rooms, enriched with insertions of vertical yellow strips, the corporate color of the club, and LED lighting that add a dynamic and modern feeing to the whole space. Floors are offering a mix of wood and marble, while brown reflective metal plateshave been used to create industrial style patterns that are framing all windows.

Friends Acadmey Golflab by RAMOPRIMO - Sheet5

At the end of the entrance path, a suspended reception desk designed as a long solid marble box fixed on floor on one only edge and floating like a cantilever will welcome visitors. The dimples pattern of the typical golf ball offers the inspiration for the design of ceiling that strongly characterizes the two main relaxing lounges. A large floor-to-ceiling glass wall offers a stunning view to the nearby river park, along which a series of white zen-like pots create a system of little landscaping islands decorating the internal public paths. Golf training room units are organized like little clusters, each designed as a separated and autonomous living room equipped with few amenities like sofas and tables, fridges, closets, where to spend some quality time with friends.

Friends Acadmey Golflab by RAMOPRIMO - Sheet9

Sensors, projectors and IT training control systems  have been integrated into the design to help improving and optimizing the players’ experience. The general feeling is a diffuse openness with the main path not perceived as a corridor, but as a public space that offers different experiences and that is dotted with points of interests and accessible functions, such as meeting rooms, a shop, pantry corners, service kitchen, lockers and fitting rooms, bathrooms and a couple of open public terraces, that all contribute to create a flexible space built around the concepts of sport and fun. Some golf room units have removable partition walls, which allows to merge them into bigger space, or to open them completely in case of need.

Semi-transparent fluted glass windows and the use of custom-made industrial window frames contribute to define the dialogue between private golf rooms and the public space, creating an interesting play of perspectives and views.


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