The New Beijing # 8 | GHL SOHO | MADA s.p.a.m.

Located on the western edge of Beijing’s CBD is the SOHO Guanghualu project designed by Qingyun Ma and his studio MADA s.p.a.m.: http://www.madaspam.com/.

Preliminary renderings looked promising, however this edition of SOHO may well be the most contentious to date. Ma provides some insight into what he was thinking in the following link: http://www.guanghualusoho.com/?channel=office&lang=en

Certainly it is interesting architecture, however there are several design decisions that are definitely worth questioning. The majority of the facade was completed in white and now provides a superb backdrop to showcase the pollution of Beijing. Also, the facade slopes back into the building – further enhancing its role as a dust collector. Finally, consistent with much of the master planning of the Beijing CBD area, the building is pushed right up to the northern boundary (LHS of the street in photographs below) to maximize development yield – at the expense of the pedestrian and any sense of contributing to or engaging with the surrounding community and urban setting.

While not one of my favorite parts of the New Beijing, the SOHO Guanghualu project certainly warrants discussion.

For another recently completed Sanlitun SOHO development see:

http://patricksloan.net/2011/03/the-new-beijing-2/

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