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Tradition and future: the proposal for the China Life Insurance Research & Development Centre on the rural outskirts of Beijing takes up the parameters of Chinese traditional buildings and translates them into highly technologically developed, forward-looking design. The complex for China’s biggest insurance company consists of a main building, a research and laboratory building and a training centre with a connected boarding house.

Similar in shape to a Chinese character, the main building is laid out on a square plan arrangement and symbolises the strength of China Life Insurance. A peaceful garden opens up at its centre, which, as the core of the whole ensemble, serves as a place of communication and contemplation. Delicately detailed interior courtyards adopt the tradition of classical Chinese residential construction and open up the main building on all floors in the corner zones. Vertical glass lamellae in the two projecting upper storys lend the company head office a dynamic character. The jade-colored solar protection glass lamellae are able to track the course of the sun, without obstructing the view of the surrounding area or into the internal courtyard. Red, illuminated, glass-clad lifts can be found on each side of the reception in the foyer of the main building. The whole development, ringed with areas of open water, is planned and based on resource conserving and sustainable parameters.

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