Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Linked Hybrid by Steven Holl Architects, and designing for the occupation of space in contemporary Beijing

via City of Sound

Beijing was such a whirl that I didn’t even get to see much of the city’s archetypal and much-discussed urban form: the hutong. (Read Sorkin on hutongs and lilongs.) While that’s a regret, as they’ve been disappearing for years, recent reports indicate they are finally being valued, and so preserved. I’ll see them next time—I didn’t want to rush it. Equally, I only saw CCTV, Water Cube, Bird’s Nest from a taxi and a bus. I didn’t see the Forbidden City, only drove past Tiananmen Square. Didn’t get on the subway. Missed the Beijing Railway Station.
Still, I saw a fair bit, as reported previously, and I did get to one project I’d particularly wanted to see: the MOMA building, aka the Linked Hybrid, by Steven Holl Architects et al.
By way of background, here’s an introduction to the project by the architects themselves:
“The 220,000 square meter pedestrian-oriented Linked Hybrid complex, sited adjacent to the site of old city wall of Beijing, aims to counter the current privatized urban developments in China by creating a new twenty-first century porous urban space, inviting and open to the public from every side. Filmic urban public space; around, over and through multifaceted spatial layers, as well as the many passages through the project, make the Linked Hybrid an "open city within a city". The project promotes interactive relations and encourages encounters in the public spaces that vary from commercial, residential, and educational to recreational. The entire complex is a three-dimensional urban space in which buildings on the ground, under the ground and over the ground are fused together. “ []
As ever in Beijing, getting there was an achievement in itself. I’d attempted to visit it the night before, getting a taxi as close as I could but ultimately getting wonderfully lost, as reported previously. Thinking back, my ineptitude reminds of Don DeLillo on tourists:

read more

MOMA apartments in Beijing, China, photo by Alan (merrionsq)

more about China:

Urban Planning Challenges in Asian Cities: Architect Jeffrey Heller contrasts Chinese, Indian approaches to growth

Exploring Multi-layered Hyper Dense Urban Environments through Spatial Analysis

Ebook: Great Moments In Architecture

Revisiting China’s ‘Empty City’ of Ordos

Architecture & Urban Planning in China: urbanization to create massive infrastructure investment

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