Architect Shao Weiping’s unveiling of the Phoenix International Media Center, which resembles a double helix DNA wrapped into a loop, proves that Chinese architects are emerging on the international stage of architecture, and adds a new icon of advanced engineering and parametric design to Beijing’s ever-morphing skyline. The new Phoenix International Media Center, a ballooning torus formed by a twisting lattice of steel and glass, rivals any structure designed by a Westerner in China over the last decade. This ring-shaped building by architecture studio BIAD UFO provides the new headquarters for Chinese broadcaster Phoenix Television.
Located between the third and fourth ring roads on the east side of Beijing, lies the new steel torus of structure enclosed with 3,800 glass panels, in a plot on the corner of Chaoyang Park in the Chinese city.
The TV station’s objective was to create a transparent headquarters, outside and inside. So the architects integrated gardens and reflecting pools into the site, attracting visitors to linger and to provide outdoor spaces for the workers within. Interiors are finished with light-coloured flooring, white walls and gridded glazing. “The unique building shape combines with the natural scene in Chaoyang Park,”said the architects. “Another feature of Phoenix International Media Center is the openness in all aspects,” they added.
The torus is basically a shell enclosing two freestanding volumes with kidney-shaped floorplans, an office block to the south (at rear) and studios to the north with a café sits atop the north block. The total floor area of the building is 65,000m2 with a height of 55m.
The Cafe atop of the north block before furnishing.
A circulation system of snaking elevated walkways and staircases connect the lobbies with the two blocks containing broadcasting studios, and offices for production and programming. These circulation systems are supported by canted columns anchored to the torus’s steel-and-concrete structure.
The elevation difference between the southern and northern internal spaces are able to provide quality of sunlight, ventilation and landscape view to the office towers, meanwhile avoiding glare and noises for the broadcasting room. In addition, the elevation difference also avoids blocking the sunshine to the residential building at the northern direction.