Located at the southwest corner of Beijing’s fourth ring road, the development project for Tunghsu’s Mixed-use Solar Complex comprises an area of 32,000 m2. The project has been named after its sponsor: the Tunghsu Group, a pioneer in renewable energy in China.
Buildings in the complex follow urban regulations allowing a maximum occupation of 85,000 m2 and a maximum height of 80 m. Moreover, circulation and access to the complex functionally determine their location. In particular, subway and bus stations as well as access areas for private vehicles determine the most convenient locations for the office buildings: the east and west sides of the plot. High-rise office buildings provide working space while a third building –a three-story longitudinal structure–, functions as a link between them.
This separation gently leaves room for a commercial street in the middle.
The commercial street provides space for food stands and other small vendors to serve personnel working on the complex, and by extension, the new neighborhood.
Big trees from a former garden in the north area have been integrated into the new pedestrian streets of the complex. This strategy presents users with a refined combination of green and pedestrian zones, rather than the monotone gray and hard pavement environment often used in conventional projects. This decision also makes the low-rise buildings to feel well planned, diverse and enjoyable.
The appearance of the commercial and the office buildings is determined by two factors: a manipulation of the buildings’ envelope to bring the maximum amount available of natural light into the complex, and an extensive use of the project sponsor’s main product: solar panels.
The extensive use of solar panels on facades, roofs, and the shelter that covers the commercial street, goes beyond the ordinary, as the whole complex appears to be built with energy production materials. This design strategy showcases the owner’s product and, at the same time, incorporates sustainable strategies and a healthy attitude into our daily life.