Galaxy Soho, Beijing by Zaha Hadid Architects
London-based architectural practice, Zaha Hadid Architects, have designed the Galaxy Soho project. Completed in 2012, the contemporary retail complex has been shortlisted for this year’s Lubetkin Prize by the Royal Institute of British Architects.
The Galaxy SOHO project in central Beijing for SOHO China is a 330 000m2 office, retail and entertainment complex that will become an integral part of the living city, inspired by the grand scale of Beijing. Its architecture is a composition of four continuous, flowing volumes that are set apart, fused or linked by stretched bridges. These volumes adapt to each other in all directions, generating a panoramic architecture without corners or abrupt transitions that break the fluidity of its formal composition.
The great interior courts of the project are a reflection of traditional Chinese architecture where courtyards create an internal world of continuous open spaces. Here, the architecture is no longer composed of rigid blocks, but instead comprised of volumes which coalesce to create a world of continuous mutual adaptation and fluid movement between each building. Shifting plateaus within the design impact upon each other to generate a deep sense of immersion and envelopment. As users enter deeper into the building, they discover intimate spaces that follow the same coherent formal logic of continuous curve linearity.
The lower three levels of Galaxy SOHO house public facilities for retail and entertainment. The levels immediately above provide work spaces for clusters of innovative businesses. The top of the building is dedicated to bars, restaurants and cafés that offer views along one of the greatest avenues of the city. These different functions are interconnected through intimate interiors that are always linked with the city, helping to establish Galaxy SOHO as a major urban landmark for Beijing.
The winner of the RIBA Lubetkin Prize will be announced on 26 September 2013.
Images courtesy of by wan Baan and Hufton & Crow
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