Nobility with an edge

Douglas Webster
Monday 02 Nov 2009

An office complex for an emerging power source

The 2008 Olympics not only provided Beijing with a catalyst for development but also a means to raise the bar for future development. Understanding this, the State Nuclear Power Planning Design & Research [SNPDRI] asked for an office complex which not only met these new standards but exceeded them and paralleled the emerging energy source it would develop.

Located in Beijing's largest science park, with 39 institutions of higher learning and 213 research institutions, the SNPDRI complex had to be a landmark. Buildings within needed to be easily navigated, highly efficient and innovative. Exterior elevations needed to reflect the company essence; progressive, inventive, modern, noble, grand and simplified. To achieve this, natural materials are integrated with modern and ‘green’ technology is integrated with traditional construction to produce a design which would not only foster innovation within the company but the public as well.

Throughout the design process, choices were made to meet the clients’ desires. From the building orientation, to the location of the exhibition and meeting/conference space [the nucleus of the project] to the materials and techniques used. ‘Green’ technology became another tool to accomplish this goal. Examples include: a double skinned wall [abstracted nebula fission pattern], green roofs and a large water feature which adjusts the micro climate.

SNPDRI asked for a technology based office complex and in the end received a complex which not only recognized and preserved their history and culture, but would propel them into the future of energy research, development and production in China.

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