The Beijing city district of Wanjing has traditionally been a gateway for people entering the city. Its name literally translates as “Looking Towards Beijing.” J. J. Pan and Partners seek to renew that title with the design of Beijing Automotive Group’s new Research and Development Center. Taking inspiration from the character 北 (bei), which signifies openness, as well as Beijing itself, this mixed use building is meant to become a symbolic landmark both for Wanjing and for the company it houses.
The Research and Development Center’s sinuous form will sit on two separate plots of land bisected by a public roadway. The northernmost lot will host a five story structure that hold exhibition space, an auditorium, and shopping, while the southern lot will be the site for two 18-story office towers. These buildings will connect by bridging the roadway, forming a literal gateway to the city of Beijing. The placement of the towers minimizes shading on adjacent buildings, and the fluid curvature of the complex’s walls allow for direct sunlight and natural ventilation of the interior. This curvature, based on Chinese calligraphy, blurs the physical boundary between interior and exterior space. The architects state that in this design, “Nature, people and automobile coexist harmoniously, delivering the ethos and philosophy of the client and establishing a comprehensive corporate identity.”
To facilitate stack effect ventilation and bring natural light into the interior, the structure makes use of a light well. Geothermal, radiant cooling and green roofs are also used to regulate temperature. The building’s form naturally diverts northern winter wind, and the roof ventilation ports can be closed to conserve heat during colder months.
LocationWangjing, Chaoyang, Beijing, China
Architect in ChargeJoshua J. Pan, Chungwei Su
Design TeamRobin C.K. Tang, Yen-Chi Hsu, Chia-Yu Hong, Lee-Jen Lin, Yi-Chen Yuan, Hsin-Chieh Shen
PhotographsCourtesy of J. J. Pan & Partners