Beijing Institute of Architectural Design and Un-Forbidden office – BIAD UFO for short – designed the Phoenix International Media Center for a plot on the corner of Chaoyang Park in the Chinese city.
Two bulbous towers with kidney-shaped floorplans are enveloped by the glass and steel skin to create the building’s doughnut-shaped form.
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The angled profile of the volume accounts for one tower being several storeys taller than the other. The architects liken the design to the twisted form of a Möbius strip.
“It is hard for these two parts to achieve a harmonious effect. However, in this programme, we resorted to the pattern of Möbius, which combines high office floor with media broadcasting hall,” said the architects.
“The unique building shape combines with the natural scene in Chaoyang Park.” they added. “Another feature of Phoenix International Media Center is the openness in all aspects.”
This outer shell encloses snaking elevated walkways and staircases that connect lobbies with the two blocks containing broadcasting studios, and offices for production and programming.
The curving volume peels away from the ground in areas to open up an access route to an open-air atrium in the centre of the building. From here, escalators lead down into the basement levels and stairs up to the towers.
Interiors throughout are finished with light-coloured flooring, white walls and gridded glazing.
The unusual form of the Phoenix International Media Center comes despite a call from Chinese president Xi Jinping for an end to “weird architecture” in the country.
Photography is by Pawel Paniczko.
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