|Skidmore, Owings & Merrill - Beijing CBD East Expansion; Beijing, China|
|Wednesday, 12 January 2011 14:53|
Located in the heart of Beijing, the Central Business District (CBD) has emerged over the past decade as China's primary global business address and is now poised for an eastward expansion that will almost double its size. The CBD Eastern Expansion Plan defines opportunities for the growth of commerce, industry, culture and the arts by establishing a flexible framework for growth and an environmentally sustainable approach to 21st Century city design.
Accommodating up to 7 million square meters of new development over a 3 square kilometer site, the plan calls for a restored commitment to public open space and a heightened focus on connectivity and mobility through advanced public transportation systems. A district-wide intelligent infrastructure system, composed of integrated utilities and controlled by smart technology, enables the CBD to function at optimum efficiencies and creates a model for large-scale, low-carbon, urban development.
The SOM plan calls for the establishment of three new districts anchored by signature parks and green boulevards. New modes of public transportation are proposed, including express commuter rail service between the Beijing Capital International Airport, the CBD, and high speed rail service at Beijing South Station. A new streetcar system is proposed to conveniently link all areas of the CBD. A network of small, walkable blocks is proposed to establish a pedestrian-friendly scale for development and every street would be bicycle friendly.
The SOM plan defines new strategies for building municipal infrastructure and high performance buildings. Implementation of the plan could reduce energy consumption within the district by 50%, reduce water consumption by 48%, reduce landfill waste by 80%, and result in a 50% reduction in carbon emissions. Reduction in emissions from office buildings alone would equate to a reduction of 215,000 tons of CO2 per year, which is the equivalent of planting 14 million adult trees.
SOM’s vision for the Beijing CBD provides the framework that will enable China’s capital city to grow as a global center for commerce, yet be a green and ecological setting for healthy life. With public open space largely absent in the existing CBD, or at best scattered and disconnected, the plan calls for signature parks as the center of new urban districts. Green boulevards connect the parks to provide a comprehensive open space network.
The project has just been discerned one of AIA's 2011 Institute Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design . As explained by the Jury: "A compelling vision for an expanded dense city core that is environmentally sound, with intertwined linear parks creating a variety of pedestrian opportunities, and believably defining and linking multiple districts into a livable city. In the midst of great density, Beijing has found a sensitive way to incorporate environmental sustainability into its expanded business district. This project shows how planning for a cohesive central business district is the best strategy for truly sustainable development. "
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 January 2011 14:59|