Design for the R&D Center of Beijing Automotive Group is based on two principles: the site as a gateway for Beijing and the essence of the Chinese character, 北 (bei).
The site, Wanjing district, sits immediately outside central Beijing. Literally translates into “Looking Towards Beijing”, Wangjing was the first stop into Beijing for soldiers returning home from battles during the Song and Liao dynasties. Today Wanjing continues to be a symbolic entrance for the capital and connects the international airport to downtown.
With this history at its foundation, the new R&D Center develops the character北 (bei), found in both the name of the city and the client, to introduce a contemporary landmark for the city that embodies a renewed corporate image. Chinese characters combine the abstract with the figurative.
The character北 (bei) signifies Beijing, as well as the sense of openness. This project takes the character as a starting point and constructs a gateway that reinforces the history of the site. The building’s curving form stems from the fluidity rooted in Chinese calligraphy.
Like a graceful glide through clouds and water, the design expresses a 4000-years long Chinese culture in modern-day terms. The winning design of a competition, this project comprise of two 18-storey towers and a five-storey building. Organized on two separate lots split by a public road, the towers are placed on the southern lot to avoid casting shadows on adjacent buildings.
Offices for the R&D Center inhabit the towers while retail, an auditorium and an exhibition hall animate the five-storey building on the northern lot. Beyond incorporating the company logo, the project’s spatial quality and formal organization direct light and air into the interior.
As one moves from one floor to another, the combination of natural light, curving forms and automotive research on display blur the typical division of inside and outside. Nature, people and automobile coexist harmoniously, delivering the ethos and philosophy of the client and establishing a comprehensive corporate identity. Source by JJPan.
Location: Beijing, China
Architects: J. J. Pan & Partners, Architects & Planners (JJPan)
Principal Architect: Joshua J. Pan
Project Team: Robin C.K. Tang, Yen-Chi Hsu, Chia-Yu Hong
Client: BAIC Group
Year: 2013 competition entry
Images: Courtesy of JJPan