Winning competition proposal injects new life into tired former factory complex in Beijing
Father and son architecture duo Massoud and Ali Afsarmanesh were awarded top prize in the first Architects In Mission (AIM) International Competition to reinvigorate Cable 8 - a former factory complex - located only blocks away from OMA's infamous CCTV Headquarters.
The high profile urban location is rapidly developing whilst the former factory building remains largely in its original form. The AIM Competition was set up by Boston-based architecture firm Zeybekoglu Nayman Associates (ZNA) as an annual contest challenging students and young professionals to demonstrate their ‘design gifts and abilities'.
Currently being used as an exhibition facility for art and design professionals, the focus of the first annual AIM Competition jars against its highly commercialised urban surroundings, eight of its existing buildings converted from manufacturing floors to loft spaces hosting designers and artists of various disciplines.
The proposal put forward by Ali his late father, Massoud Afsarmanesh, is comprised of a glass roofing system, extending and encasing the existing cultural complex in a protective shroud. The interior spaces are rejuvenated and extended, bathed in extreme volumes of natural sunlight. Darren Chang, Senoir Architect of ZNA, explained: "They won the competition because their project was doable and practical. Their model was fluent, bright and eye-catching."
It is also possible to view the architectural progression of the building from a fluid pedestrian walkway. Visitors pass through the old existing site (past), following the pathway through the new glass extension (present) and end at the top level, where the glass roofing affords panoramic views across the continually changing Beijing skyline (future).