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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Beijing’s Central Business District East Expansion by Skidmore Owings & Merrill

 
January 31st, 2011 by Susan Smith

The winner of an international design competition to double the size of the existing Beijing Central Business District (CBD), this master plan by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) accommodates 7-million square meters of gross building area in a 3-square kilometer redevelopment zone. Addressing the requirements of the competition brief, the expanded district remains consistent with the existing CBD functions, containing Class-A office space, quality housing, hotels, retail and entertainment. Special attention is given to integrating existing residential and commercial buildings into the expanded vision, while new cultural facilities add to the vibrancy and civic nature of the district .

SOM’s vision for the Beijing CBD provides the framework that will enable China’s capital city to grow as a global center for commerce

SOM’s vision for the Beijing CBD provides the framework that will enable China’s capital city to grow as a global center for commerce

  • Architectural Firm: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP
  • Completion Year: Ongoing
  • Site Area: 228 hectares
  • Project Area: 4,200,000 m2
  • Project Awards:
    • 2011 AIA  Regional and Urban Design Award
    • 2010  AIA Illinois • Daniel Burnham Award: Citation of Merit
    • 2010  LEAF Awards • Masterplanning & Landscape: Shortlisted
The project enhances Beijing’s commitment to public open space by offering three new public parks, green boulevards, and a revitalized riverfront park. The comprehensive green network is designed to harvest and cleanse storm water to help alleviate shortages in the water-starved city. Additionally, the master plan aims to reduce vehicular traffic congestion by providing new modes of public transportation, including additional subway lines, streetcars and, most ambitiously, express rail service between a new CBD core and Beijing’s Capital Airport and South Railway Station.

New modes of public transportation are proposed, including express commuter rail service between the Beijing Capital International Airport, the CBD, and high speed rail service at Beijing South Station.

New modes of public transportation are proposed, including express commuter rail service between the Beijing Capital International Airport, the CBD, and high speed rail service at Beijing South Station.

The design is based on classic urban design principles–walkable streets, consistent street walls and active ground floor uses–and optimized with today’s technology to maximize sunlight, views, and thermal comfort. Placing this project at the cutting edge of smart technologies and serving as a model for contemporary urban redevelopment, the plan proposes a ‘‘plug and play’’ strategy for the provision of energy, water, conditioned air, communications and waste management infrastructure. Intelligent systems monitor and adjust to deliver maximum efficiencies, while centralized operations are made visible to the public– a true showcase in sustainable design.

Implementation of the plan could reduce energy consumption within the district by 50%, reduce water consumption by 48%, reduce landfill waste by 80%, and result in a 50% reduction in carbon emissions.

Implementation of the plan could reduce energy consumption within the district by 50%, reduce water consumption by 48%, reduce landfill waste by 80%, and result in a 50% reduction in carbon emissions.

Designed as a flexible framework for development, the plan can be adjusted and phased to respond to the evolving Beijing market. The master plan team has continued working with local officials to refine the plan, with a special emphasis on minimizing carbon outputs in the expanded CBD. Construction of the initial phases will begin upon final approval, with full build-out anticipated by 2020.

The SOM plan for Beijing’s expanded Central Business District (CBD) calls for the establishment of three new districts anchored by signature parks and green boulevards.

The SOM plan for Beijing’s expanded Central Business District (CBD) calls for the establishment of three new districts anchored by signature parks and green boulevards.

The winner of an international design competition to double the size of the existing Beijing Central Business District (CBD), this master plan accommodates 7-million square meters of gross building area in a 3-square kilometer redevelopment zone. Addressing the requirements of the competition brief, the expanded district remains consistent with the existing CBD functions, containing Class-A office space, quality housing, hotels, retail and entertainment. Special attention is given to integrating existing residential and commercial buildings into the expanded vision, while new cultural facilities add to the vibrancy and civic nature of the district .

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