The Changing Face of Beijing Architecture - Phoenix International Media Center
    2011-12-02 17:22:12     CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Duan Xuelian

Phoenix International Media Centers construction  [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com/William Wang]


By William Wang

Just west of Chaoyang Park, dog walkers, joggers and local residents have been following the strangely curvaceous metal structure slowly writhing into existence. Hong Kong's Phoenix Media has chosen Beijing to create their mainland headquarters, using an architectural design which boldly expresses its intentions to move away from tradition toward the open ideals of the future.

A twisted metal doughnut of a glass-covered frame houses two buildings within it, one a full ten stories high. It will include public and private space, viewable broadcasting and production studios, restaurant and caf, and winding ramps and escalators bridging the spaces. Even in its unfinished state, its modern design has drawn much appreciation from the public.

As China grasps every opportunity to modernize and establish itself internationally, it is only natural that it would seek international architects to help it do so, not different from cities like New York or Dubai. But the Phoenix Media is unique in its use of local design firm Beijing Institute of Architectural Design to design its showpiece media center. Built entirely by Chinese designers and engineers, it sets the stage for made in China media to also progress towards meeting high international standards.

BIAD's chief architect Shao Weiping elaborates,"In the past ten years, most landmark buildings have been designedy foreign architects. This has given the impression to the [Chinese] people that only international architects are able to create modern design That's why our project is special. It's made in China. It provides a window to the public and the world [showing] that local Chinese architects and engineers are able to use their designs and technology to do a modern architectural project."

The BIAD design may be locally designed, but its look is unabashedly international. BIAD has dedicatedly built up its cutting edge reputation at international competitions and its projects already go beyond Chinese mainland. In keeping, the Phoenix building's modern design exploits new technology to create something which would have previously been impossible to construct.

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