As the world goes Olympics mad, Farrell has been making his own contribution to Chinese development
As the world's olympians head to Beijing for the 2008 Olympic Games, architect Sir Terry Farrell is busy with his own spot of world-beating achievements in China. Here we run through a collection of four of the best buildings by the British architect in China.
With a roof area the size of 20 football pitches, the vast Beijing South Railway Station is the largest station in Asia and a core Olympic project which opens next week. Home to new high speed rail lines between Olympic venues, the station is China’s largest and embodies innovative architecture and rigorous design. It is designed for an annual passenger turnover of 105 million by the year 2030, with a peak-hour flow of 30,800 passengers.
The station’s low-rise roof includes a 30,000 m2 skylight that maximises natural light into the station and conserves energy. Outside, the station makes a generous contribution to the public realm and significantly enhances the neighbourhood character of the surrounding area. Its unique, contemporary form has given the city a dynamic new landmark as well as a vital improvement to China’s infrastructure.
Currently under construction, the Kingkey Finance Tower will be Shenzhen’s tallest building at over 100 storeys and one of the highest mixed-use buildings in the world. At 493m, it will be taller than the Petronas Towers in Malaysia. Its visually slim form allows for high efficiency levels, while the sophisticated cladding enables the tower to maintain an optimum interior environment while minimising solar heat gain. The Tower is linked to a large shopping mall which in turn connects directly to a metro station, and will contain offices, a six-star luxury hotel and conference facilities with a roof-top lobby. Kingkey Tower is set to become both an attraction and a catalyst for further growth in China’s most successful economic zone.
China’s largest (and the world’s second largest) company commissioned Farrells to design a prestigious new headquarters. Farrells’ design response is a building that reflects the company’s identity and success while incorporating many important sustainability features. Four 24-storey buildings rise from a common podium, becoming lighter and more open towards the top of the building as the amount of glazing increases. The building is an elegant example of modern architecture in Beijing using the latest building technology.
Those seeking rest and relaxation away from the Olympics can travel to Farrell’s award-winning and luxurious Sheraton Dameisha Resort in Shenzhen – sited on a 2.5km beach with 368 rooms, exhibition and conference facilities, restaurants, a spa and fitness centre. The building curves around its site like a traditional Chinese dragon, ensuring that all rooms have ocean views. The building has already won an award for the Best Waterfront Developer/Best Waterfront Development in China.
The hotel’s five-star pedigree, landmark architecture and stunning natural qualities are expected to attract regular tourists from China and around the world, helping to establish China as a resort destination.
Sir Terry Farrell said: “I am extremely proud of my practice’s global achievements. Whether in transport and infrastructure, leisure or commerce, these buildings show that we are producing world-class buildings for major global clients. If architecture were an Olympic sport, Britain would be racing ahead. I am proud that my firm is up there on the podium.”