CR Land Guanganmen Green Technology Showroom / Vector Architects

Architect: Vector Architects

Location: Beijing, China
Project Year: 2008
Client: CR Land
Design Partner in Charge: Gong Dong
Managing Partner in Charge: Hongyu Zhang
Project Architect: Shuo Li
Site Area: 500 sqm
Photographs: Vector Architecture

Design Concept:

The project is a “temporary” Green Technology Showroom of 3-year use for one of CR Land’s (华润置地) residential projects in Beijing. The idea is to develop the concept of “Temporary” from a meaningful perspective, to design a piece of floating “installation” in the garden, which could be built, demolished, and recycled through an easy and straightforward way with the least impact to the planned site.

Sustainable Features:

Site Selection

We are involved into the project at early stage when client tried to specify the building footprint within the residential compound. The location was finalized at the central lawn, where we believe in that:

1. the minimal impact of the designed landscape construction
2. the minimal impact of planned pedestrian circulation
3. Easy Demolition and Site recovery after use

Structure System Selection

We used the structure as the main structural system of the building, therefore,


1. The structural member can be reused after building is eventually taken down.
2. Overlap the structural member factory fabrication time with the site excavation, thus minimizing the construction schedule.
3. The building is elevated, greatly reducing the excavation and foundation work, thus allowing easy demolition and site recovery after use

Building Envelope: Vertical Grass Wall Paneling system and

We apply the vertical grass panel system and green roof onto the building envelop,

1. Reduce the heat gain and loss and enhance the thermal efficiency.
2. The grass panels will reduce storm water runoff.
3. Although the central lawn is taken away to make room for this building, but we effectively tripled the original planting area by using the grass panels on the roof and two facades.
4. Grass wall panel is planned to be relocated onto the partial fence of the residential compound after demolition.
5. Visually harmonize the temporary structure with the existing garden and the so called “Classic Spanish” Style

Cite: "CR Land Guanganmen Green Technology Showroom / Vector Architects" 03 Dec 2008. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <>
  • Benjamin

    the grass panels really make the simple, plain steel structure look enticing

  • musser

    very compelling.

    • Mattie

      jXE5jO Good point. I hadn’t thought about it quite that way. :)

  • Nick

    Cool. How do you mow the walls?

  • Contemporary Art

    Could you elaborate some on why it’s compelling? To me, it seems to have one interesting feature, the grass walls. Even with a gimmick, it seems to me it falls flat because the form is so boring. It looks prefab in the worst possible way; I think it would solidify for some visitors the idea that green initiatives are incompatible with elegant design, which is obviously something no one wants.

  • scarpasez

    That seems a bit harsh. This thing is temporary, and is supposed to be environmentally conscious…so material use, waste, and construction cost / energy are all a part of the design. Apart from the novelty of the green walls, I’d agree the design isn’t really inspired. However, there are some nice moves with the fenestration, such as in the edge condition occurring mid-frame. Plus, the interior probably has some good light effects from skylights. It’s probably a stretch to say that folks will despair of green building because it’s too staid. Gotta dig those walls, though.

  • Contemporary Art

    It’s obviously not a disaster, but unsympathetic audiences won’t be impressed. It’s going to be around for 3 years, but even with the materials they chose I think they could have done something more engaging. When you’re doing a design showcase, it seems like you have to be especially sensitive. The easiest argument against modern architecture is that it’s abrasive, ugly cubes. This is a cube covered with grass. I’m just not sure.

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  • Henry

    Henry from Here.

    I loved this design – ‘ugly cubes’ isn’t often in my vocab, beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all.

    I don’t think it’s fair to say that this space is simply a cube covered in grass, as to say there is no other underlying inspiration. It’s functional, eco friendly, and has thermal advantages etc.

    I also like the fact that it’s open ended (literally..)
    The fact that anyone can walk in is quite appealing and inviting.

    However, Id like to see the cube in a cityscape (smaller scale perhaps?) a green box amoungst the urban sprawl i think would make a bold statement (about the environment and the structure itself.)

  • Pramod

    I like the idea of covering the bare walls(otherwise)with greenery but I wonder if the edges could have been softened by may be tilting the walls towards outside and merge them with the surrounding ground plains thus reducing the impact of the tall and long stretch of walls.Right now the greenery really doesn’t justify to the argument that care has been taken to triple the landscape area footprint.Its still stands alone very much separated from its surrounding…… The interior looks very clean………

  • Michael

    what’s wrong with “being simple”, as long as it is rational and functioning? For me this little cube covered by grass is lovely, and i saw the artistic quality come along together with discipline. Seems to me that every move of the design has its pratcial reason behind.

  • kikomiah

    It’s a nice idea.
    I’m very glad.

    • Sadie

      I agree, simple and nice.

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  • Juri

    I totally agree with Henry. This building might not be a roaring success in it’s ultimate dynamic but it could certainly inspire future projects in urban scenarios!

    My personal opinion on “green architecture” is that it doesn’t have to be literally green!

    And yes nick – Hou do you mow the walls? hahaha

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  • Michael Vestergaard

    Awesome :-)

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  • alberto giacchi

    semplicemente leggera, funzionale, bella…

  • 夜绮神木子

    green structure but no ADVENTURES inside the green.

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  • aankun

    interesting way to go green

  • utopian robot

    despite the thoughtfulness of this project it seems very out of context with Beijing. I could see this installation in Los Angeles or somewhere else in the U.S. because it’s like a trailer that could be parked in a cul-de-sac. i guess i would have liked to see more dilligence paid to it’s cultural and urban context, but i suppose this more of an expose of technology and construction techniques than a cohesive piece of architecture.

  • AAA

    wow, very cool.

  • PS

    Is the architect Hong Bin’s ex? She is so nice and beautiful.

  • TOM

    is really really great

  • adolph

    i like the greenery. cool idea

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  • soofyveega

    jajaja veo que no hay comentarios en español, me encanto la edificiación, los techos naturados y ahora los muros estan “de moda” y que mejor que emplearlos. Hace ver el espacio limpio y aunque el edificio es simple, lo hace ver grandioso. me gusta …

  • Joshua

    @Contemporary Art

    Spectacle for spectacle’s sake isn’t necessarily ‘good’ design either. The most progressive aspect about this project isnt the green walls, it’s the ability for it to be easily disassembled. Thinking about the afterlife of the building and what then happens to the materials is an entirely rational and ecologically savvy move. That’s where the design is. The walls are just a nice detail.