As becoming one of the most important international financial centers, Beijing, like many other major cities is expecting a growth that can easily affect the quality of social life in public spaces.
The new Cable 8 proposal combines the preservation of historical buildings that already have an iconic meaning for the city, with creating public social interaction in a place where this relationship existed in the past by working in the same location, the cable factory.
The new sustainable solution of development blends in the rehabilitation of the old factory with a new architecture inspired by traditional art elements. Most of the buildings are being kept as they are and reconditioned with some structural changes to accommodate the new design and only a few structures are proposed for demolition and replaced with new pedestrian plaza and parking.
The reconversion of the space keeps the spirit of the old factory alive through the sustainable process of the rehabilitation of the factory by keeping the old materials, vegetation and recycling the cable reels existing at the site creating seating and artwork in the public plaza and throughout the site.
There was also a connection needed in the whole complex and that is made by introducing a new dominant element in the composition, the origami wrap. The origami wrap resembles of the old Japanese paper folding art that has its origins in China and is acting as a big sculpture at an urban level, as a roof at the building level, as a shading device at elevation level and as heat retardant at the roof top terrace level. Made out of corrugated aluminum panels the origami wrap is attached by a self-supported steel space frame. The blank panels are alternating with perforating panels. The perforations are a modern interpretation of traditional Chinese fretwork providing natural light transmittance trough the fenestration and creating shade in the public spaces.
The visual impact of the origami wrap to the street is announcing the entrance in the plaza by folding in the portal of the new gate.
The pattern of the flooring done in the same folding paper style is present from the exterior of the complex and it extends over the street. The changing of the texture of the street is not only marking the presence of the complex but is implying vehicular speed reduction creating a more pedestrian friendly area at the entrance level. The entrance to the site becomes more transparent by replacing the old building with the plaza and amphitheater.
Passing through the entrances the new or the old restored traditional gate, people have the spectacle of the new green factory floating on the water, introducing them to a new world away from the quotidian city life.
The ground level belongs to the fashion industry and restaurants. Walking through the new covered walkways carved out from the factory walls, the patrons have a complete accessibility though the buildings. The access can be made through the central lobby or from each individual lobby regardless if the destination is business culture or entertainment.
At the second level the buildings are connected by a main bridge cutting trough the lobbies and dominating the other three glass bridges which are linking the exhibition areas from separate buildings unifying them as whole. The business area and the entertainment industry are connected by the museum articulation.
Announcing the exterior space on second floor is made by pushing the exterior inside the building in the business area creating a pleasant working environment for the offices located at the third floor. The reversal of spaces is taken to another level by extracting the interior space out of the building extending the exhibition area on the third level. The exterior exhibition space is not a spectacle only for the visitors attending to the museum, the outdoor movie theater or the digital museum; it also creates interconnectivity between the city and the Cable 8.
The presence of The New Cable 8 creates a refugee area from the everyday city life while coexisting with the natural function of the city simultaneously being open to the new surrounding developments by its versatility and interconnection with the city.