‘IN-Beijing’ SOHO | Block D
Community building needs space where people can meet, communicate and feel at ease with friends and neighbours. The urban setting of this project endorses this goal by offering a carefully graded distinction between public, semi-public and private areas:
From the surrounding streets one freely enters the residential quarter from all four directions. The inclination of the course is leading quite naturally into the core area with the arena-like central courtyard as focus.
This sunken court by its whole appearance is not a space for public transit like a mall, but turn-table and meeting point between those coming from outside with those living there, between those turning home with those leaving. For the occupants of one of the four blocks it is the place for meeting one another in the common heart of their residential area. The central court is their territory, and this experience makes each inhabitant feel as a part of this special community, feel at home and safe.
This centre of the development is intended to become an eye-catcher, unique in design and atmosphere, but at the same time casual, convenient, and pleasant: a blend of architecture and landscape. This is the reason for its distinct shape, something between mountain and building, opening up into an intimate inner circle with a fountain murmuring in the middle.
Once the residents are entering their own block, they are turning the back towards the outdoor world: The single block is their personal environment, clearly different from any of the other three blocks around with regard to colours, materials, architectural design and landscaping. The single block is something like the common living room for the closer neighbourhood whose terraces and front yards are bordering the interior court. It is the place for people who are inevitably sharing the rhythm of daily life.
For the sake of creating distinct identities inside the huge floor space program, the four blocks are as different as possible while still following a unifying contemporary architectural language:
They firmly represent the four seasons as main theme, each of them according to their location (winter is north, autumn is west etc.). The superposed seasonal theme is visible from outside, from colours, materials and structure of the facades, via surfaces and plants in the individual courtyards, up to details of the interior design of the public areas.