A skewed annular footprint shapes the irregular volume of the Phoenix International Media Center in the capital city of China. Completed by BIAD-UFO, this remarkable building adds value to its location as an engineering tourist attraction while being close to the other buildings with architectonic values, such as CCTV Headquarters of the well-known architecture firm OMA.
Uniting two separate buildings that serve as office and broadcasting units for Hong Kong media company under a single roof, an immersive diagonal shell construction is formed by applying the Möbius Strip in the third dimension. The structural system does not only stand for the engineering genius but also improves environmentally beneficial concepts by integrating water collection that naturally falls through these steel channels into the underground tanks for later use of landscaping elements within the 1.8-hectare site area of the edifice.
The façade belonging to this 55-meter-tall structure has a soft topography to protect from severe wind pressures in winter. Although this shape is evolved from the concept development phases, bringing it into the life required some computational thinking and complicated parametric codes.
The 3800 pieces of custom-designed glass panels fill the space between the diagrid structures. The office building located in the south part of the field is elevated higher than the media complex in the north. These features resulted in the maximum access of sunlight and air to the interior despite being a closed area. Having a double façade system also helps improve the acoustic conditions needed for the radio and television studios. The transparency of the shell creates an inviting effect for the people passing by the Chaoyang Park or near the centre as well as an opportunity to see the surroundings for the visitors of the building.
The building envelope is raised and snapped off the ground, generating strategically planned gates to direct visitors from busy ring roads and the city’s largest park. These special spots allow free entrance to the futuristic courtyard made for the actions of interactive arts.
Another charm of the design is the indoor platforms, interconnecting ramps and stairs that act as circling bridges to link the office and studio segments. The use of fine wire rope supports and direct edge joints to polygonal columns provides the floating look of these architectural components. The executive chief architect of the project, Shao Weiping, mentions this television centre as the unique broadcasting workplace with public access, taking advantage of these broad walking elements.
ARCHITECT: BIAD UFo (Beijing Institute of Architecture Design, Un-Forbidden office)
PHOTOGRAPHS: Wu Jiming, Fu Xing, Hector Pei, Phoenix Center
CLIENT: Phoenix Television
LANDSCAPE DESIGN: LAURstudio
INTERIOR DESIGN: SAKO Architects
LIGHTING CONCEPT CONSULTANT: Speirs + Major
BIM CONSULTANT: Beijing BIMTechnologie Co.
CONSTRUCTION AND EPC: Beijing Tianrun Construction Co.
BUILT AREA: 65,000 square meters