9/06/2011

The Rise of The Phoenix


The Phoenix International Media Center in Beijing, is well on its way with an almost complete steel frame, the project is set to be completed in 2012.  The 4.4 acre site will be the new home of Phoenix Satellite Television sporting a massive steel frame covering 700,000 sqft and reaching a height of 180 feet, resembling somewhat the "Birds Nest" Olympic stadium of 2008. Designers may have been inspired by the buildings name in envisioning a nest for the Phoenix.  This structure is however less abstract than the Olympic stadium, although dynamic in form, more simple in design.




Apart from the media office, the broadcasting studios and the production offices, the building provides an abundance of open spaces and interactive zones for the public.  The design concept is based on creating an ecological environment within a protective shell, embracing the individual functional spaces as a building-within-a-building concept.  Beneath the steel shell are two independent office towers, that generate many shared public spaces.  On the east and west of the shared spaces, there are continuous steps, landscape platforms, sky ramps and crossing escalators.  The difference in elevation of the north and south facades allow for maximum sunlight, ventilation and views for the interior spaces.






In addition, energy-saving and low-carbon concepts have been applied to the buildings design.  Instead of the traditional rainwater drain pipe system, rainwater will be collected by flowing naturally down the structural ribs into a collection tank at the base of the building.  Once filtered, the water will be recycled to feed the artistic waterscape and serve as an irrigation source for landscaping.  Aside from the aesthetic value of the buildings unique shape, during Beijing's windy winter months the smooth surface and round shape act to mitigate the sever street wind effect from high-rise buildings.  The shell also provides a climate buffer space for the interior functional spaces, acting as a "Green Coat".