The city of Beijing is becoming a Mecca for industry activity. With China dominating the world in terms of industry productivity, the country, which houses over a billion citizens, is also the home to some of the world’s fastest growing cities.
It should come as no surprise then that Beijing’s new Media Centre would be developing seamlessly fast over its two year design, three year construction period. Named the Phoenix International Media Centre, architecture firm Shao Weipig was engaged to undertake the 64,973 sqm challenge. This multi-purpose building is the property of the east Beijing phoenix satellite television station, with further space used as media offies, restaurants, underground parking and other utilitarian facilities.
The architecture firm have created an entire community through their smart and creative design of the multi-form building. The space is divided into two sections. Two independent kidney-shaped buildings have been constructed on opposite sides of the development, one substantially taller than the other. These two buildings are then encapsulated in a matrix of steel and glass grids that surround both in an iconic curving shell that takes design inspiration from the never-ending looping mobius strip.
The design ideology is a mix of sustainability, “cultural charm” and openness. The first aspect of the designers’ ideals has been communicated through the implementation of the mixed-use steel structural grids which act as funnels, rain water collecting in tanks bellow and used as irrigation for surrounding garden. It is also channelled into the developments water features. The double-glazed exterior design also acts as an insulator, allowing for energy consumption to be reduced dramatically.
The cultural charm and highly open nature of the building go hand in hand. This is apparent through the highly visual nature of the structure that is due to the buildings protected yet exposed glass exterior, which both offers to fill the area with natural light as well communicate with gardens outside, allowing the spirit of the city inside the building.
In order for this design concept to come to fruition, the actual conceptualism and design process took place over the two years between 2007 and 2009. Although construction is still underway, beginning in 2009 and with a predicted completion date somewhere in 2012, the project is already reaching international acclaim through its exhibition at “verso est” in Rome.
The Phoenix Media Centre is a beautifully designed piece of Chinese architecture that is simply one of the copious amounts of architecture gems that the country has to offer. The mix of culture, sustainability and original design is what sets this building apart in a city of icons.