Beijing Publishing House Building, Image, Architect, Project, Design, China
Beijing Publishing House
Contemporary Chinese Architecture – design by Studio Pei-Zhu
5 Jun 2008
Publishing MicroCity Beijing
Architects: Studio Pei-Zhu
Publishing MicroCity is a project to transform an existing 12 storey office block occupied by the Beijing Publishing Corporation into a centre promoting creativity within the publishing industry. It also aims to increase public interest in publishing. The site has a prominent corner location on Beijing’s busy north third ring road, on the north-south axis running between the Forbidden City in the centre and the Olympic Park in the North.
The publishing industry in China has a long history – movable type printing was invented around 1000 years ago, some 400 years before Gutenberg produced his bible in Europe. The contemporary industry is changing rapidly however. As is the case all over the world technological advances have impacted heavily, with the rise of television and the internet diminishing the role of printed media. Societal transformations related to China’s economic reforms are also affecting publishing. As the economy booms and the middle classes expand, increased leisure time, affluence and education means an increased value placed upon the media in all its forms, and it has assumed a more ubiquitous presence throughout the city, both in peoples homes and on the streets. The publishing industry must adapt swiftly to this paradigm shift in order to survive, and it is here in the interactions taking place in the real and virtual spaces of the city that the creative impetus for new directions in publishing can be found.
Working from this premise the project seeks to create a microcosm of the surrounding urban fabric within one building – a MicroCity focused on publishing. The existing homogenous, compartmentalised office building will be transformed into a heterogeneous mix of linked spaces for work, learning, retail and leisure. Public and communal space is introduced into a previously closed building, vertical paths of communication between floors opened up, and outdoor spaces connecting the occupants with the city created.
In order to achieve this a series of cantilevers of varying size are constructed, extending the existing floors. Concentrated on the north and west aspects these allow links to be formed between floors with only minimal modification of the existing reinforced concrete structure, and also create external terraces. Circulation and communal areas are located in these newly created spaces, which rise from the ground floor to the roof, forming a giant window onto the life and movement within the building visible from the congested 6-lane ring road. This strategy of building as visual media can also be seen in the dramatic form of the building, which echo’s that of the stacks of books to be found clogging up the corridors in the existing building, and in the proposed use of patterning in the interiors or facade.
It is hoped that the opportunities for interaction found in the intersections between the spaces and activities contained within the building, and the connections (at once visual, physical and programmatic) made with the city beyond, will foster a creative and vibrant atmosphere which stimulates life not only within the building itself, but also in the urban fabric that surrounds it.
Publishing MicroCity – Building Information
Project title: Publishing House
Program: A centre promoting creativity and increase public interest in publishing
Client: Beijing Publishing Group
Architects: Pei Zhu, Tong Wu
Associates in charge: Mark Broom, Shaohua Li
Design team: Lu Wei, Frisly Colop-Morales, Jiao Chongxia, He Fan, Dai Lili, Xi Weidong, Yang Chao
Structural consultant: Xu Minsheng
Structure and materials: Reinforced concrete frame
Total building area: 10,980
Cost Approximately: 18,000,000 RMB
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