R&D Center of Vehicle Parts, Beijing Automotive Group
Design for the R&D Center of Vehicle Parts is based on two principles: the site as a gateway for Beijing and the essence of the Chinese character, north(北).
This project comprises of two 18-storey towers and a five-storey building. Organized on two separate lots split by a public road, the towers are placed on the southern lot to avoid casting shadows on adjacent buildings. Offices for the R&D Center occupies the towers while retail, an auditorium and an exhibition hall animate the five-storey building on the northern lot. Beyond incorporating the company logo, also the character北, the project’s spatial quality and formal organization direct light and air into the interior. As one moves from one floor to another, the combination of natural light, curving forms and the auto parts blur the typical division of inside and outside. Nature, people and automobile coexist harmoniously, delivering the ethos and philosophy of the client and establishing a comprehensive corporate identity.
Climate in Beijing is summarized into extreme heat for the summer and frigid temperatures for the winter. To reduce energy consumption both in terms of heating and cooling, an internal light well establishes a stack effect to facilitate air circulation. Interior temperature is further regulated by the façade, radiant cooling at each office levels, and a geothermal system. Green roofs atop both towers create additional thermal barriers and minimize the heat island effect. In the winter the roof ventilation shutter is closed to reduce heat transfer while the building’s curvilinear form diverts away the cold northern wind.