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Beijing Central Business District Expansion

Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) was awarded the contract to create a stunning new Central Business District (CBD) in Beijing. The project will integrate into the existing downtown urban district and will improve the transportation infrastructure while introducing energy-efficient buildings and green public spaces. Also, the plan provides a framework for new sustainable growth that would result in eliminating 215,000 tons of CO2 per year, which is equivalent of planting 14 million adult trees. Located in the heart of Beijing, the Central Business District (CBD) has emerged over the past decade as China’s primary global business address and is now poised for an eastward expansion that will almost double its size.

Courtesy of SOM

Courtesy of SOM

The scheme submitted by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill is very mature. … The connection with the original Central Business District has been considered in the design of  green systems, business facilities, underground development and road systems, to show an integrated area. The design also considers the city’s density and massing and also pedestrian-friendly and comfortable spaces to create a vital city life“, said Wang Qingfeng, Chief of the Planning Administration Division, Beijing Central Business District Administration Committee.

SOM’s plan for an expanded Central Business District (CBD) in Beijing calls for the establishment of three new zones anchored by signature parks and green boulevards. Express commuter rail service would link the area to the Beijing Capital International Airport and Beijing South Station, while a new street-car system would serve all zones within the CBD. The scheme also features a network of small, walkable blocks to encourage pedestrian and bicycle travel. 

Courtesy of SOM

Courtesy of SOM

SOM’s exciting new plan combines many of the necessary elements of a sustainable city: transportation, open spaces, pedestrian and bike friendly streets and energy-efficient buildings. The Beijing CBD Administration Committee has stated that the plan would “enable China’s capital city to grow as a global center for commerce, yet be a green and ecological setting for healthy life“.
The good transportation system and the focus on pedestrian scale sound obvious, but they are the foundations to establish neighborhoods that can bring life to parts of the city 24/7, instead of business districts that die at night with dormitory cities with a lack of services.
Project Information :
Architect : SOM
Location : Beijing , China
Project Year : 2009
Site Area : 228 hectare

Project Area : 4.2 million square meters

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