Botschi Vargas and Robert Rummey have won an international competition for a new quarter in Yichuang city centre. The project, carried out in association with the Beijing Tsinghua Architectural Design and Research Institute, aims to provide a dramatic focus to the central business district, with a composition of towers and domes.
The towers, which are to be constructed with an outer and inner structure of latticed concrete on steel, will contain open spaces along with offices and residential space at high level and retail at lower level.
The domes will house cultural and recreation spaces, ensuring that there is comfortable circulation and public space when the outdoor climate is too severe. Both towers and domes are linked above and below ground, with integrated parking, circulation, transport and infrastructure.
Large water basins at the north and south entrances to the site are an integral part of the environmental strategy, but also heighten the dramatic impact by reflecting the structures of the towers.
The landscape strategy is an integral part of the scheme. Excavation material is used to turn the flat site into a gently undulating landscape, with areas of parkland - a key design aim was to create an alternative to the typical Beijing model of tower blocks surrounded by derelict open space.