Addressing the budding concept of intellectual property in China, KUAN Architects has revealed their proposal for the Intellectual Property Office Headquarters at the Beijing TBD. The project sits at the crossing of the North-South axis of the Badaling Expressway and the East-West axis of the TBD, an irregular quadrilateral footprint among several rectangular developments. Both sides of the main axis of the TBD are divided into 5 parcels - simple, concise shapes that balance the irregularity of the site and reconcile its plan with the surroundings. Using these building volumes, a plaza is created in the centre.
From the architect: The design is inspired by the Chinese painting scroll. While the TBD’s landscape axis is seen as a shanshui painting, the scroll is the building complex. Human activities activate the architecture just like ink adds life to a Chinese painting, and the whole complex unrolls like unrolling a scroll of painting. Annexed low-rises house all service spaces connected to the office buildings. They are horizontal and their roofs are continuations of the central park, emphasizing the movement of unrolling and offering relaxing conversation spaces for staff. Using this continuous roof, corridors and running tracks are created, extending the ground level’s green space and public space, and creating a secondary green space on the roof. Employees can walk from their office building to the outdoor space on the roof, where they can follow the track to the green sky-corridor and central park. The system of corridors in the air lace the complex together to the central square, like the tie of a scroll.
The two main buildings are at the West and East end of the site, like an ancient lock, insinuating the importance and protection of intellectual property. The main body of the building acts to unlock the scroll and give access to the intellectual property and innovation. Once “unlocked”, the bureaucratic space fuses linearly into the painting, interrelating with the annex low-rises and the central garden space into one consistent and fluid spatial system.
Intellectual property is a relatively new focus in China and is getting more attention quickly. This design of the headquarter is filled with traditional Chinese artistic and cultural insight, not only to pay homage to the ancient culture but also to state that cultural context is where intelligence starts.
Architect in ChargeKuan Wang
Design TeamKuan Wang,.Dongchun Wang, Liang Xun, Mei Li, Lina Teng, Wei Liu, Feixiang Wang, Yue Zhao, Dong Guo, Yi Cao, Yanu Zeng
Collaborating ArchitectsXun Liang Studio, W&W Studio
PhotographsCourtesy of KUAN Architects