Project DescriptionFROM THE ARCHITECTS:
The 220,000 square-meter Linked Hybrid complex in Beijing, aims to counter the current privatized urban developments in China by creating a twenty-first century porous urban space, inviting and open to the public from every side. A filmic urban experience of 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; a three-dimensional public urban space.
The ground level offers a number of open passages for all people (residents and visitors) to walk through. These passages include “micro-urbanisms” of small scale shops which also activate the urban space surrounding the large central reflecting pond. On the intermediate level of the lower buildings, public roof gardens offer tranquil green spaces, and at the top of the eight residential towers private roof gardens are connected to the penthouses. All public functions on the ground level, - including a restaurant, hotel, Montessori school, kindergarten, and cinema - have connections with the green spaces surrounding and penetrating the project. Elevators displace like a “jump cut” to another series of passages on higher levels. From the 12th to the 18th floor a multi-functional series of skybridges with a swimming pool, a fitness room, a café, a gallery, etcetera connects the eight residential towers and the hotel tower, and offers views over the unfolding city. Programmatically this loop aspires to be semi-lattice-like rather than simplistically linear. We hope the public sky-loop and the base-loop will constantly generate random relationships; functioning as social condensers in a special experience of city life to both residents and visitors.
Focused on the experience of passage of the body through space, the towers are organized to take movement, timing and sequence into consideration. The point of view changes with a slight ramp up, a slow right turn. The encircled towers express a collective aspiration; rather than towers as isolated objects or private islands in an increasingly privatized city, our hope is for new “Z” dimension urban sectors that aspire to individuation in urban living while shaping public space.
Geo-thermal wells (655 at 100 meters deep) provide Linked Hybrid with cooling in summer and heating in winter, and make Linked Hybrid one of the largest green residential projects. The large urban space in the center of the project is activated by a greywater recycling pond with water lilies and grasses in which the cinematheque and the hotel appear to float. In the winter the pool freezes to become an ice-skating rink. The cinematheque is not only a gathering venue but also a visual focus to the area. The cinematheque architecture floats on its reflection in the shallow pond, and projections on its facades indicate films playing within. The first floor of the building, with views over the landscape, is left open to the community. The polychrome of Chinese Buddhist architecture inspires a chromatic dimension. The undersides of the bridges and cantilevered portions are colored membranes that glow with projected nightlight and the window jambs have been colored by chance operations based on the ‘Book of Changes’ with colors found in ancient temples.
The water in the whole project is recycled. This greywater is piped into tanks with ultraviolet filters, and then put back into the large reflecting pond and used to water the landscapes. Re-using the earth excavated from the new construction, five landscaped mounds to the north contain recreational functions. The ‘Mound of Childhood’, integrated with the kindergarten, has an entrance portal through it. The ‘Mound of Adolescence’ holds a basketball court, a roller blade and skate board area. In the ‘Mound of Middle Age’ we find a coffee and tea house (open to all), a Tai Chi platform, and two tennis courts. The ‘Mound of Old Age’ is occupied with a wine tasting bar and the ‘Mound of Infinity’ is carved into a meditation space with circular openings referring to infinite galaxies.