Project Designers: Wang Kun, Ding Yu, Pan Dali, Lu Jian
Project Location: Beijing
Project Period: 2002-2003
Project Status: Completed
Client: China Resources Land (Beijing) Co., Ltd
Facing its own construction site right across the street, the sales office for CRland Grand Constellation Development is located in a downtown area of quiet Old Beijing. The completion of the Constellation Development will unfortunately end the serenity of this street, introducing retail, office, and entertainment spaces into a once purely residential area. Ironically, the completion of the project will also end the existence of the sales office, as it is temporarily located on a borrowed site.
Logically, this temporary structure is designed to salute the Old Beijing which will die the same day the project is completed. Two elements play vital roles in Old Beijing. One is color, a blend of large areas of grey with a hint of dark-red and golden-orange ceramic tiles. The other is a quietness of the street by means of fencing off active urban life behind blank “street walls”.
Dark black slate is selected instead of traditional grey brick for the wall tiles; its undulating surface suggests traditional masonry craftsmanship. A bright copper box projects above this monochromatic backdrop.
A ramp and stair lead to the elevated entry plaza sheltered by tree boxes. Behind the blank “street wall” hides pleasant sunken courtyards that provide a buffer between the quiet interior and noisy exterior. The courtyards are shallow enough so that the highrise buildings across the street are not visible from the inside.
While most of the functions are packed into a lower floor two meters below grade, the main feature of the building is a metal box cantilevered over the low street wall. A large model of the construction project is the sole object inside the box. It is located in front of the window facing the construction site. In essence, the tubular box becomes a monocular that brings the ongoing project right into the sales office.