wall house . Brussels


The site is located at Li-Ze, Beijing's new Financial District, and situated at a strategic infrastructural junction adjacent to a subway interchange station and elevated expressway connecting the 2nd and 3rd ringroad.

A park-like setting surrounds the site with a boulevard to the north and a park with the future underground mall to the west. The requested development indicates a precise program that fills out the site with a 200m tall tower and a 30m tall podium. We recuperate the slab typology, rather than the typical isolated skyscraper, in an explicit x-shaped configuration in order to establish a dynamic engagement with the district and optimize the workspace.

To exploit the full potential of the site, two intersected slabs are oriented with wide faces to capture the open views towards the Lotus River and financial district in the East and West whereas the faces are minimized in the largely blocked main urban axis towards the expressway and adjacent towers in the North and South.
The intersected slabs fully unite as a singular (structural) form that enables an exceptional open space that increases efficiency, provides lateral stability, and at ground level defines an urban space. Instead of a typical central core configuration, two cores are positioned in the perimeter opposite to each other in a folded shape which enables the floor slabs to merge into one spatial column-free floorplan offering maximum flexibility and efficiency with a wide range of tenancy configurations.

Crucial is the expression of the slabs with the podium, not as extroverted objects, but as an urban entity that engages with the public surrounding. We make the site permeable by detaching the podium to form an enclosed public space around the slabs - a new urban center. Accessible from all corners of the site, circulation loops facilitate a smooth public flow in the (building) complex offering informal encounters between office, retail and recreational activities. With direct connection to the subway station and underground mall, the outdoor sunken plaza, surrounding the thin slab, invites both public and private use at the heart of the site.
With an average of 12m depth, the slabs provide optimal natural daylight and outdoor views in each office. The substantial length of the slabs and the positioning of the core make the slabs stable on their own, avoiding a bracing and allowing slender columns of 45 x 45 cm at the perimeter, spaced 4.5m apart. The forces at work within the structure are rendered visible on the façade, which further expresses the core in the narrow faces. Several tests show that within the challenged air situation in Beijing a darker color best defines the façade under all circumstances. LED further enhances visibility, and provides a lighting / information facing the expressway.

Partner in Charge: David Gianotten
Associate in Charge: Ravi Kamisetti
Thorben Bazlen, Kathleen Cayetano, Yuan Gao, Vincent Kersten, Kwan Ho Li,
Luke Lu,
Kai Sun Luk, Slobodan Radoman, Stella Tong,
Patrizia Zobernig, with: Thomas Brown, Mafalda Brandao, Jocelyn Chiu, Paul Feeney, Jedidiah Lau, Federico Letizia, Benny Tam

Structure, MEP, Traffic: AECOM: Francis Yao, Ricky Tsan, Rory Chan, Mark Ouyan Yu, Eric Kwok, Jason Jeung, Tony Chun Chung, Sin Yi Chu
Sustainability: YR&G, Narada Golden
Model: RJ Models

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