Following the recent inauguration of Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport, one of the biggest airports in China, and with the 300m Guosen Securities Tower also under construction in Shenzhen, Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas have won the prestigious International Competition for the design of a Cultural Center in the heart of Beijing, Chaoyang Administrative District, the largest and the second most populous in the capital, where the main foreign Embassies are located.
The site, measuring approximately 136 m by 68 m is in a prominent location, facing directly unto the new central recreational park currently under construction. Located adjacent to the third ring road of the city, it sits at the focal point of what will be one of the top business districts in Beijing and the most important in terms of economic development, industrial cluster and urban planning.
The project is developed from the concept of two separate volumes of mirror finished stainless steel, linked by a transparent and permeable glass atrium containing a sculptural staircase which connects all public functions of the building. These two main volumes are defined by their differing functions; the west volume containing Performance spaces and the East volume a convention centre and large function rooms. The volumes are seemingly pulled apart to allow full permeability and access between the tower and the park while at the same time creating a spectacular atrium space which greets the visitor to the cultural centre.
The Park, the surrounding buildings, the people and the bustle of contemporary urban life are constantly reflected on the mirrored facades of the Cultural Center. Instead of asserting itself like the encroaching towers that are presently springing around the new Central Park, the building simply, quietly and elegantly highlights the context and narrates the history of this urban quarter upon its "skin".
"Our building is a mirror, a screen or a canvas upon which the life of this area will play out. Life as culture. Culture as life." MF
The beginning of construction is expected by the end of June and comes alongside the winning of the Chengdu Tianfu Cultural and Performance Center International Competition in Chengdu, China.