West Street Number 1
What do you think about when the words “Chinese Contemporary Architecture” are mentioned?
I don’t know about you, but I for one think “Everything!” With the kind of super efficiency one has seen over the decades and the kind of growth that China has been showing in every field, even in sports!) , contemporary architecture by the Chinese folk is just something that has to be a model of utility and efficient design that comes in a funky little package – and that’s exactly what West Street Number 1 by 6A2 Studio is.
This mini complex of flagship stores is located in one of the most famous commercial districts of Beijing. Being near one of the busiest subway stations on line 13, it caters to a clientele that comprises mostly of university students and white-collar workers. As a business strategy, the facades have been oriented towards the subway station to showcase its brands rather than use billboards for advertisement.
The most spectacular part about this project however is the level of detail to which the facade has been worked out. What might look as randomly angled pieces of metal are actually strategically designed multidimensional polygons placed the way they have been according to the movement of the sun and angles of perspective. The facade has been conceptualised with a day and night strategy- during the day the facade aims to attract customers while at night gives a warm ambient glow designed parametrically to optimise manufacturing costs. Both of these have been worked out keeping the contrast between adjacent panels due to reflection of light under 60% and create an inviting building in order to improve the project revenue and social impact.
An efficient strategy for a commercial design project, 6A2 Studio imparts its belief in the age of technology by efficiently optimising cost and working on the minutest aspects of design in this project.
By: Shamita Chaudhry