SPARCH completes iconic new office & retail tower for Beijing
Raffles City Beijing comprises 150,000 sq m of offices, retail, serviced apartments and residential accommodation at the junction of Beijing's East 2nd Ring Road and Dongzhimen Neidaijie. The ideal location takes advantage of direct links to Asia's largest transport hub at Dongzhimen.
Consisting of a 21-storey office tower, 5-storey retail podium and immediately above, a 15-storey residential block to the west and 17-storey serviced apartment block to the east, the components work both independently and in solidarity. A united campus is formed with a uniform of crystalline elements introduced at various levels and in unique ways - each element is treated differently but all are visually unified. The retail podium and ‘clubhouse' forming the entrance to the serviced apartments feature as the most dramatic of these elements. Dubbed the ‘Crystal Lotus', a crystalline cantilevered structure rises spectacularly from the basement foodcourt to support the sweeping glass roof. As its circumference grows larger towards the top, it encloses the main lift shaft and accommodates larger shops on the upper floors. SPARCH thus freed up the ground floor plan for an event space underneath the Crystal Lotus' cantilever.
"Significant emphasis had been given to the design of the northeast corner of the development," say SPARCH. "The office tower and podium turn 45 degrees towards the transport interchange diagonally opposite the urban plaza in front of the main retail entrance.
"This dynamic visual connection extends as a vertical slot in between the retail podium and the lower levels of the office building. This canyon-like space provides an urban corridor opening up the city block to its hinterland of low-rise residential buildings. The centre of this slot is occupied by a small crystalline enclosure serving as the lobby to the office tower and a sheltered link between retail and office."