Vanke Jiugong is located in Beijing’s rapidly growing southern suburbs. At a size of 127,000 sqm with live/work towers, a retail podium and leisure amenities, its interlocking volumes add interest to its form and variety to the experiences it offers.
The ‘lower plane’, on levels four and five, comprises a series of restaurants laid out on an orthogonal grid. The upper ‘ground plane’ is conceived as a series of pavilions, for small offices and larger towers of live/work units, laid out within a garden accessible to the public as well as occupants.
A clearly articulated escalator expresses its exterior circulation route – an important feature as it has two patterns, one for the 12 hours of daytime in 3 floors of the retail podium, the other for the area above, where restaurants, bars and cinemas will be open and so encourage activity for 24 hours of the day.
Sections showing the internal volumes confirm their inherent rationality within the functional and commercial context. Here ‘breaking the box’ simulates the variety of traditional urban forms and offers the opportunity for a genuine sense of urban life to develop.
Text by Jeremy Melvin, Architectural Review 2015

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