Guang’an Phase 1 & 2

Fly-Through Animation

Driven by the economic boom in China, the inner city of Beijing has undergone waves of development since the early 2000s. The Guang’an Phase 1 & 2, situated in the southwestern part of the inner city, less than 3 kilometers from the Tiananmen Square, is maybe one of the last few valuable real-estate “virgin lands” yet to join the development cycle. The context is delicate, for the area is filled with historic sites and resided by large indigenous population. All buildings face strict height limit of 80 meters. The development risk runs high, and the context requires sensitive designs. Yet the most powerful developers in Beijing cannot resist the lucrative return promised by the prime location of the site. It is under this situation that RTKL was invited to propose a new direction for the parcel.

The enormous program consists of 155,000sqm for the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design (BIAD), 135,000sqm for three governmental agencies, 30,000sqm for  commercial in Phase 1, and 450,000sqm for  financial office spaces in Phase 2. I was put in charge on leading of the two design directions, as well as the architectural design of the BIAD building.

The concept is to break down the parcel by the sequence of the development, starting with commercial component and the public program of BIAD, followed by BIAD’s design units and the governmental buildings, and eventually the financial office towers. The entire parcel is organized in the same logic, delineated by three major roads running south-north. Each of the four program blocks thus defined, the BIAD, the governmental buildings, and the two parcels of financial offices, has its own characteristic patterns. A pedestrian circulation connects the southeastern corner of the site, where the subway stations are located and most urban activities take place, to the northwestern corner where indigenous neighborhood demands invigoration by the city life. This path is anchored by key retail features along the way, part of which is the retail clusters around the Guanghuisi Temple, a move to infuse commercial activities within the historic context.

The BIAD building is composed of the administration and public functions in the south and the design units in the north. The design units follow a modular system informed by the existing organizational structure and size of the institute, and prepared to accommodate the projected future expansion. The massing of BIAD, as well as the neighboring governmental buildings, mitigate between the tall commercial buildings to the south and low residential neighborhood to the north.

The project juxtaposes a multitude of program elements, including shopping attractions and urban plaza, in order to enliven the site throughout different hours of the day, and to balance the different characters between the new city and the existing urban fabric. The design provides a dynamic yet consistent urban image by employing facade strategies differentiating between the solid and protective outer perimeters and the open and transparent inner core.